A pair of hotel industry groups filed papers in federal court Thursday in a renewed attempt to stop a $15.37 per hour minimum wage from taking effect on July 1 for some hotel workers in Los Angeles.
The American Hotel & Lodging Association, a national hotel industry group, and the Asian American Hotel Owners Association sued the city of Los Angeles in December, and have been seeking a preliminary injunction against the hotel wage ordinance before it takes effect this summer.
The ordinance, approved by the City Council in October, raises the minimum wage to $15.37 an hour for workers at Los Angeles hotels with 300 or more rooms, starting July 1. For hotels with at least 150 rooms, the higher wage will take effect July 1, 2016.
“We were compelled to take this step in order to protect our member hotels from suffering irreparable harm before the court has the opportunity to fully consider the legality of the Hotel Workers Act,” AH&LA President Katherine Lugar said.
The hotel industry groups’ request for a preliminary injunction was rejected by a federal judge in May, but the group filed an appeal today in an attempt to overturn that decision.
“We continue to believe the evidence will show that the (Hotel Workers Act) improperly disrupts the balance of economic power between labor and management,” Lugar said. “This imbalance creates unprecedented bargaining leverage for labor, violating the National Labor Relations Act.”
Lugar contends that “union efforts, in recent weeks, to insert an opt-out provision for unionized workplaces into the citywide wage ordinance further demonstrate that labor is not focused on wages for its members, but rather is planning on using this opportunity ‘as a weapon to pressure companies to unionize,”‘ she said, quoting from a newspaper op/ed.
The City Attorney’s Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
— City News Service
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