Lawmakers said it makes sense for hotels to pay higher wages since Los Angeles has made “significant financial investments” to help the hospitality industry. The ordinance prepared for the council states that Los Angeles already runs free tourist attractions and has helped build “the public transportation system that carries visitors around the city, including to and from hotels.”
Backers of the measure said tax subsidies have been provided to four downtown hotel projects, allowing developers to keep a combined $500 million in tax revenue that would have otherwise gone to the city’s budget over the next three decades. Labor activists also pointed to a third report commissioned by the city, which found that after the minimum wage was hiked at LAX-area hotels, employment changes “essentially mirrored those across the city.”
L.A. City Council Votes for $15.37 Minimum Wage for Workers at Big Hotels
Big hotels in Los Angeles will soon be required to pay at least $15.37 an hour to their workers — one of the highest minimum wage requirements in the country.
“When employers are saying jobs are going to be lost, they’re really saying, ‘We want to continue to have high profits, so we’re going to fire people,'” said James Elmendorf, an advocate with the nonprofit Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy, which pushed for passage of the wage hike.