Plan harms hotels; ignores similar pay for teachers, city workers
SACRAMENTO, Calif., April 12, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The $25 an hour minimum wage proposed today by Los Angeles City Council Member Curren Price is a short-sighted, industry-specific mandate for political gain, that ignores accepted living wage policies and far less pay for teachers and city workers.
“Why is it that city leaders push onerous financial burdens on our still fragile hospitality community, without demanding similar pay for Los Angeles teachers and city staff?” said Lynn S. Mohrfeld, President and CEO of the California Hotel & Lodging Association (CHLA). “It is proposals like these that have led to the city’s reputation as a difficult place to do business and to work. Enough is enough. LA leaders have to do better.”
“As the largest hotel owners association in the world, AAHOA is committed to looking out for the best interests of small, family-owned LA hotels,” said Laura Lee Blake, President and CEO of the Asian American Hotel Owners Association. “Increasing the minimum wage would be a significant hardship for our family-owned businesses who care deeply about their employees. This $25 minimum wage proposal is a lose-lose situation for all involved.”
“We know LA needs a lot of support and our 500 Los Angeles hotels have always been there for the community,” said Heather Rozman, President and CEO of the Hotel Association of Los Angeles (HALA). “We ask that the City Council set aside this political expediency and help the entire tourism industry recover from the pandemic so that Los Angeles regain its role as a global destination.”
In recent years, Los Angeles hotels have endured numerous costly burdens imposed by city leaders, including:
- Failure to protect participants and hotel properties during Project Roomkey, in which LA hotels offered more than 40,000 rooms, but the city failed to provide protective and much-needed mental health services for unsheltered individuals.
- Instituted the costly Hotel Worker Protection Ordinance last year, which was sponsored by special union interests to mandate square-footage restrictions that aren’t based on safety or health-related facts.
- Did little to ease the burden of LA hotels who were closed for 18 months during the pandemic yet paid taxes, maintained facilities, paid utilities, and kept paying our employees as long as we could without having any income.
- Allowed an absurd measure to go on next year’s ballot that will mandate hotels house unsheltered individuals next to paying guests with a voucher program.
And now, Price’s $30 per hour minimum way – that’s what it will become by 2028 – will be a hardship for LA’s hotels, a majority of which are family-owned small businesses. To stay in business, they will be forced to reduce costs, offer fewer services, and no longer fund community activities.
The hypocrisy of this minimum wage proposal is obvious. Price’s proposal is for hotel workers only. Yet, it doesn’t cover far less pay for union members, teachers, and city workers.
- Last month, after a three-day strike the Los Angeles Unified School District union agreed to a minimum wage of $22.52 an hour, outpacing the City of Los Angeles and the State of California.
- UniteHere, the union supporting Price’s proposal, offers $19.71 an hour for a grievance negotiator.
- Many City workers and Council staff members make less than $25 an hour.
City leaders and union supporters have sought to place blame on hotels for the high costs and lack of housing in Los Angeles. LA hotels do not set planning, design or construction policy. Hotels do not set policies for unsheltered individuals. That role lies with elected leaders.
SOURCE The California Hotel & Lodging Association