Unprecedented Community Coalition Wins Raises, Sick Days for L.B. Hotel Workers
Long Beach – A cheering crowd representing a uniquely diverse Long Beach coalition hailed the passage of Measure N Tuesday night. The measure establishes a minimum wage of $13/hr (about $2,000 a month) in Long Beach’s largest hotels, guarantees workers five sick days a year, and protects their tips. Economists project that it will add about $7 million annually into the local economy, creating and sustaining 85 jobs and generating an estimated $800,000 in tax revenues.
"This victory is good for Long Beach and will be so helpful for hotel workers, who may even see this increase in time for the holidays," said Christine Petit, a campaign co-chair and member of the Long Beach Coalition for Good Jobs and a Healthy Economy. "Long Beach residents have supported the hotel industry with our tax money. We didn’t feel like poverty wages were a good return on that investment."
The measure becomes law ten days after certification by the Long Beach City Council, which can happen as soon as 28 days after the election.
"I have said all along that the second thing I would do when Measure N passes is take my family off of public assistance," said Maria Patlan, a ten-year housekeeper in Long Beach’s hotel industry. "But the first thing I will do is a dance of joy."
"The coalition that has supported this measure is as beautiful and diverse as Long Beach itself," said Rev. Jerald M. Stinson, Senior Pastor of the First Congregational Church of Long Beach. "Communities of faith, small business owners, hotel workers, and ordinary Long Beach residents came together to shine a light on the poverty living in the shadows of one of our most critical industries. Measure N will make a big difference for a lot of families who have been working hard but not seeing progress."