For immediate release
September 25, 2014
New law creates one of the highest minimum wage rates in the US, will change lives of thousands in hospitality industry
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles City Council voted 12-3 in favor of a new law creating a $15.37 per hour minimum wage for workers in LA’s big hotels.
Supporters of the measure, known as the Raise LA coalition, erupted in cheer in council chambers Wednesday morning as the results were announced. The broad coalition included hundreds of hotel workers, more than 35 community organizations, 17 neighborhood councils, churches and hundreds of small businesses.
Phase one of the ordinance is expected to take effect on July 1, 2015. The law will require hotels with more than 300 rooms to pay all workers a minimum of $15.37 per hour. Phase two would go into effect on July 1, 2016 for hotels with more than 150 rooms. The ordinance will apply to about 60 hotels in the City of LA.
“I am very excited because this law will change my life,” said Sandra Diaz, a busser at the Daily Grill restaurant at the Westin Hotel in Los Angeles. “This law will allow me to relax, spend more time with my son and not be so stressed out all the time.”
While LA’s big hotels enjoy higher occupancy rates and revenues than ever before, many full-time hotel workers must work two jobs or rely on public assistance just to get by.
“The LA City Council demonstrated tremendous leadership today,” said Tom Walsh, president of UNITE HERE Local 11. “They identified the serious problem of poverty in the hotel industry and worked with us to create a solution.”
Salvador Tello, a hotel dishwasher for two decades, said the wage increase would put more money in his pocket to enjoy simple things.
“With a raise, I’ll take my grandchildren to the movies, buy them a new toy or book,” said Tello. “It might seem insignificant, but for me, it will make a big difference.”
For questions, please contact Leigh Shelton at 323-533-3864 or [email protected].