Yesterday’s vote by the Los Angeles City Council to raise the wages of hotel workers to $15.37 is an historic move and strikes a blow for workers everywhere. Raising the wage floor is an important way of giving workers more bargaining power and raising wages across the board.
The Leisure and Hospitality industry has some of the lowest wages in the country, and the highest disparity between CEO and worker pay—Leisure and Hospitality CEOs made 370 times what their workers were paid in 2013. The legislation also covers tipped workers who, research has shown, are much better off when they are paid the full minimum wage.
My hope is that Congress will step up and pass legislation to raise the minimum wage nationwide. In the meantime, it’s heartening that the city of Los Angeles has joined other states and municipalities to make sure its workers are earning the wages they need to get by.