RAISE LA Wins $15 minimum wage for LA hotel workers

RAISE LA Wins $15 minimum wage for LA hotel workers from LAANE on Vimeo.

After a two-year campaign by the Raise LA coalition, led by LAANE, UNITE HERE Local 11 and dozens of community organizations across Los Angeles, the L.A. City Council yesterday voted to raise wages for more than 10,000 hotel workers. The new law sets a minimum wage of $15.37 for workers at large hotels across the city, making it the highest in the country, and also provides up to a dozen paid days off a year while protecting tipped employees from wage theft.

The victory will have a dramatic impact on some of L.A.’s lowest-paid workers. Poverty rates among hotel workers exceed 40 percent, even as the industry revenues have reached record levels four years running.

The minimum wage law, sponsored by City Councilmembers Curren Price, Mike Bonin and Nury Martinez, and strongly supported by Council President Herb Wesson, was approved by a 12-3 vote. Mayor Eric Garcetti has promised to sign the ordinance into law.

“This is a great day for hotel workers, and a great day for Los Angeles,” said LAANE Executive Director Roxana Tynan. “This is not just a victory for the women and men who keep one of our biggest industries going, but for local businesses that will benefit from $71 million annually in increased spending by thousands of workers.”