LOS ANGELES, CA – Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced a plan today to raise the city’s minimum wage up to $13.25 an hour over a three year period, followed by annual boosts keyed to inflation. The California Hotel & Lodging Association issued the following statement:
For some time now, labor leaders have been circulating a way to raise the minimum wage to more than $15 an hour, 60% above the current California minimum wage, but only for one segment of the City’s work force, hotel workers. Now, Mayor Garcetti has a separate proposal that will require all employers within city boundaries to pay a higher minimum wage. But the proposal to unfairly target hotels is still on the table on top of the recently increased federal and state wages. If both proposals pass, the City will have contrary wages for different industries. This is very troubling and we look forward to talking more with our elected officials to express our concerns.
The Los Angeles hotel industry offers its employees good, high-paying jobs with benefits and a fast-track to more senior positions. We take care of our employees because they are the backbone of our businesses. The Los Angeles hotel industry employs thousands of hard-working Los Angelenos and generates millions of dollars in tax revenue. This revenue supports much needed city programs including those that benefit all of the city’s people. It is because of this that we are concerned by the City’s proposal to unfairly target non-union hotel owners with an extreme wage increase. As an industry, we believe we are setting a standard when it comes to high-paying jobs, particularly for entry-level positions. To unfairly target hotels and implement a wage increase just on our businesses, excluding other industries, is troubling and we believe that most Los Angelenos would agree.
The Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board recently reported that ‘Tourism is among the largest and healthiest contributors to the Los Angeles economy, bringing $16.5 billion in direct spending to Los Angeles for a total economic benefit of $30.5 billion in 2012. Tourism directly supported 324,000 jobs in the Los Angeles region in 2012. Visitation to Los Angeles generated $179 million in transient-occupancy taxes for the City of Los Angeles in Fiscal Year 2012-13, a 10.7% increase over $162 million in the prior year. Tourism also generated $2.1 billion in total local and state tax revenue.’