The W Hotel in Hollywood. Photo by John Schreiber.
The W Hotel in Hollywood. Photo by John Schreiber.

A Los Angeles City Council committee next week is scheduled to consider an ordinance that would raise the minimum wage for some hotel workers to $15.37 an hour, higher than the mayor’s proposal to hike the minimum wage to $13.25 an hour for all workers in Los Angeles.

A draft ordinance headed to the Economic Development Committee Tuesday calls for the wage to go into effect July 1, 2015 for hotels with at least 300 rooms.

Hotels with 125 or more rooms would have until July 1, 2016 to raise its minimum wage to $15.37, under the proposed language.

Unionized hotels in many cases would be exempt from the wage hike, due to workers already agreeing to a bargained contract.

Officials estimated earlier this year that the $15.37 would apply to as many as 40 hotels in Los Angeles.

Mayor Eric Garcetti has said he would sign off on the ordinance to enact the $15.37 minimum wage for hotel workers.

The ordinance could affect 11,000 to 12,000 of the 17,000 hotel workers in Los Angeles, with about 81 percent of employees making below $15.37, according to Gina Palencar, a spokeswoman for the RaiseLA campaign that is pushing for the wage increase.

Representatives of the hotel industry had slightly different numbers. Los Angeles has about 37 hotels with more than 125 rooms, and likely just 60 percent of those would need to raise their wage to $15.37 because they are non- union, according to Lynn Mohrfeld, president and CEO of the California Hotel and Lodging Association, which represents 1,500 hotels around the state.

Morhfeld said his members are “wondering why the hotel industry is being singled out,” especially as the mayor proposes raising the minimum wage to $13.25.

“The industry is disappointed that the hotel-only wage is continuing to move forward,” he said. “And we don’t understand — since there’s no deadline — why this is moving so fast and why we can’t have a policy discussion on this very important issue.”

The committee Tuesday also was expected to receive reports on economic analysis done on the impacts of a voter-approved hotel worker wage increase in Long Beach, the increase to wages at hotels near LAX and other similar cases.

City News Service

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