Los Angeles books higher hotel minimum wage

Los Angeles books higher hotel minimum wage

Bates MotelIf critics are right, room service in Los Angeles hotels could descend to that of the Bates Motel.

Yesterday the City Council passed a $15.37 minimum wage for non-unionized employees of large hotels in Los Angeles. Breitbart News reported city observers generally recognized the union-driven plan would boost member rolls because unionized workers’ wages would be regulated by union contracts, not the new law.

Mayor Eric Garcetti said he will sign the hike despite continuing the push for his own more gradual approach, which would increase the wage for all workers in the city to $13.25 by 2017.

California’s current minimum wage is $9 an hour, and will rise to $10 in 2016. The U.S. minimum wage is $7.25. So the new Los Angeles hotel minimum wage of $15.37 is more than double the national wage.

Proponents say the higher wage will help employees be able to raise families in an expensive area of the country. In speeches across America backing the higher wage this election season, President Obama has insisted, “America deserves a raise.”

Opponents insist the higher wage will force hotels to cut workers, which in turn would reduce services to guests, or raise room rates. Either move would make Los Angeles less attractive to tourists and the crucial convention clientele.

Opponents hold some hope to overturn the higher wage in court. The American Hotel and Lodging Association filed almost two dozen public records requests to determine how and why the vote sailed through the council with so little time for debate. According to the Los Angeles Times, the ordinance could be thrown out if the City Council rammed through a violation of state and federal equal protection laws.

Bob Amano, executive director of the Hotel Association of Los Angeles, told the Times economic impact reports were shunted aside along with concerns over the discriminatory application of the increase to one segment of workers targeted by unions.

Competing agendas

National organizations have not hesitated to step into the Los Angeles controversy. At a press conference convened after the vote, a combative tone was struck by Katherine Lugar, chief executive of the American Hotel and Lodging Association. “It’s clear that the city council was determined to pass this discriminatory law, regardless of hard data,” she said. Joining the public records request, she continued, would “help illuminate the true motivations behind this rushed decision and whether the proposal itself or the council’s numerous missteps provide grounds for litigation.”

The minimum wage in Los Angeles has become a political football with potentially national implications. That tees up an election-year climate that could serve as a potent distraction for Garcetti, whose approach to city governance has been characterized by more modest, incremental and measured policies than that of activist Democrats.

Damage control

Garcetti also implicity acknowledged the higher minimum wage could reduce jobs. Last month he asked Santa Monica, West Hollywood and other nearby cities to match Los Angeles’ minimum-wage hike to prevent them from taking jobs fleeing his city. He was taking a page from efforts in San Francisco’s East Bay, where a coalition of neighboring mayors is working to coordinate minimum wage hikes.

That has left some groups skeptical. Commenting to the Times, Carol Schatz, chief executive of the Central City Association, warned that “you still have the competitive disadvantage of L.A. versus Orange County or Ventura, or other cities in California.”

Assuming the $15.37 minimum wage passes legal muster and goes into effect, and critics are right that it will kill thousands of jobs, Garcetti’s next step could be to bring back his more modest hike as a jobs-saving compromise.

Whatever happens, Los Angeles is leapfrogging over the city and  country on implementing a much higher minimum wage. It’s a risky experiment where unemployment of 8.1 percent in August remained well above the 7.4 percent for California and 6.1 percent for the United States.


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  1. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 2 October, 2014, 10:45

    Oh, isn’t that special? Now all the illegals who have fundamentally captured our hospitality industry will make $15.37/hr in LA. The illegal alien lobby must have the LA city council in their back pockets. No wonder CIS reported that virtually all percent increase in employment growth went to immigrants from 2000-2012 even though native born citizens accounted from 2/3rds of the population growth. You have to read between the lines to draw these conclusions, folks. The media won’t tell you. They keep it a secret.

    Reply this comment
  2. Queeg
    Queeg 2 October, 2014, 13:33

    free health care, education, phones, discount utilities, tips, Section 8, welfare and minimum wage. There may be a Utopia-

    Reply this comment
    • Sean
      Sean 2 October, 2014, 18:04

      Free health care and an increase in the minimum wage? $15.35 an hour working 2000 hours per year brings you up to nearly $31K/year. How many of the hotel workers get some sort of public assistance, either through MediCal, SNAP programs, housing and energy assistance. How much of the extra earnings will from the rise in the minimum wage will be subjected to very high marginal tax rates? Jobs may be lost, hours cut but subsidies could be lost and a big beneficiary may be fewer public outflows into the social safety net.

      Reply this comment
  3. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 2 October, 2014, 16:58

    The illegals could not have taken over the hospitality industry without the complicity of the employers. There was no lobbying needed.

    Reply this comment
    • LetitCollapse
      LetitCollapse 2 October, 2014, 19:20

      “The illegals could not have taken over the hospitality industry without the complicity of the employers.”

      The illegals could not have taken over the hospitality industry without THE GOVERNMENT REFUSING TO ENFORCE OUR STATE AND FEDERAL LABOR LAWS.

      There, fixed it again for ya, seesaw.

      You see, businesses will get away with anything the government allows them to get away with to make bigger profits. It’s the nature of capitalism.

      Just like if speeding laws weren’t enforced. Drivers would be speeding 80 mph down residential streets.

      Too bad that I have to explain these things to someone who’s been on the planet for over 7 decades. 🙂

      Reply this comment
  4. Wolfman
    Wolfman 2 October, 2014, 18:53

    most are illegal aliens making more money then American citizens

    Reply this comment
  5. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 3 October, 2014, 22:19

    You are certainly king of the personal insult, LIC. Whenever another poster trys to make a counter-point, just insult them royally and that will take care of everything.

    You are right about the law not being enforced, but that does not excuse the American citizenry for refusing to obey that law–instead they just opened the flood gates for their gardeners, nannies, and hospitality personnel.

    I can tell you one thing about the hiring of illegals–they did not get hired in the public-sector. All of the illegal hiring took place in the private-sector.

    Reply this comment
  6. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 3 October, 2014, 23:17

    “You are certainly king of the personal insult, LIC.”

    I just respond in kind in the same manner others communicate to me, seesaw. If people are nice to me, I’m nice back. If people insult me, I insult back. Not that hard to figure out.

    “You are right about the law not being enforced, but that does not excuse the American citizenry for refusing to obey that law….”

    Baloney, seesaw. In the business world it’s all about survival. If one contractor hires all illegals his labor costs would be about 30-40% of the contractor who obeys the labor laws, pays the going wage, pays his worker’s comp premiums, FICA, and all the other miscellaneous labor fees. Now how is the obedient contractor who follows the labor laws going to compete against the crook who hires all illegals? Answer: HE CAN’T! His business will fold. And he won’t be able to house or feed his kids. So now he must hire illegals too and break the laws just to survive financially because THE GOVERNMENT REFUSES TO FULFILL IT’S JOB AND ENFORCE THE STATE LABOR LAWS!!! It becomes a chain reaction that results in anarchy. And it destroys the fabric of a civilized society.

    You don’t seem to think your comments all the way through, seesaw. I hope my input helps you.

    Reply this comment
  7. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 3 October, 2014, 23:36

    “I can tell you one thing about the hiring of illegals–they did not get hired in the public-sector. All of the illegal hiring took place in the private-sector.”

    When is the last time you saw a public union speak out against illegal immigration or amnesty, seesaw? Answer: NEVER.

    All the public unions endorse amnesty and love illegals. You know that. The illegals are their next generation of employees.

    The public unions have organized unions for the illegals who get paid to stay home and take care of their sick relatives. If there’s a way to scam the system out of another buck the public unions will find it.

    Reply this comment

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