Home>Articles>$25 An Hour Minimum Wage Proposed by LA City Council For Tourism Workers

Los Angeles City Hall. (Photo: City of Los Angeles)

$25 An Hour Minimum Wage Proposed by LA City Council For Tourism Workers

Wages for workers would increase to $30 an hour by 2028

By Evan Symon, April 12, 2023 5:29 pm

Los Angeles City Councilman Curren Price introduced a motion on Wednesday to increase the minimum wage for tourism workers from $16 an hour to $25 an hour.

The proposal is the latest in a flurry of minimum wage increases and minimum wage increase attempts. Currently, the minimum wage in California is $15.50 an hour, although a proposal to increase it to $18 an hour by 2026 has been proposed as a ballot initiative. In Los Angeles, the current minimum wage is $16 an hour, although that is set to be hiked up to $16.78 an hour on July 1st. Certain sectors, however, already have $25 an hour minimum wage in place, such as workers at private hospitals in LA. A bill to increase that to all healthcare workers in the state is also currently in the works.

Councilman Price’s proposal is only the latest attempt. According to the proposal, all tourism workers, including those employed at LA area hotels with 60 or more rooms, and workers in certain occupations at LAX such as janitors, airplane cabin cleaners, airline catering workers and security officers, would see their minimum wage bumped up to $25 an hour this year. This figure would then increase to $30 an hour by the time of the Olympics in 2028.

At a press conference outside of LA City Hall on Wednesday, Price said many workers in the industry are having trouble surviving in LA on their current wage, with many facing housing, food, or multiple job issues.

“Many of the working people who are the foundation of LA’s tourism economy, working in LA hotels and at LAX, are struggling to survive on the city’s current living wage, facing housing and food insecurity, or forced to work two jobs,” said Price.

In a series of Tweets on Wednesday, Price expanded his reasoning, saying, “This morning, I introduced a motion that would uplift over 36,000 tourism workers across the city by raising their hourly wage to $25 in 2023 with plans to increase their pay to $30 by 2028. This action is more critical than ever as the wage rates have not kept up with the rising tide of inflation and the cost of living in Los Angeles. My proposal would benefit individuals employed at LA area hotels with 60 or more rooms, and workers in certain occupations at LAX such as janitors, airplane cabin cleaners, airline catering workers and security officers.

“Tourism brings billions of dollars to our economy, and the businesses benefiting from tourism workers’ labor can afford to provide good jobs with fair wages. The living wage movement is a social justice movement where here in Los Angeles nearly 9 out 10 tourism workers are people of color. It’s appalling to think that while the tourism industry has its future growth secured, the workers that keep this major economic engine functioning, safe and profitable are fighting to keep a roof over their heads.”

While unions such as SEIU United Service Workers West and Unite Here Local 11 supported the measure, the odds of it making it through the LA City Council without being voted down or being delayed by a lawsuit were noted as slim by many observers on Wednesday.

“Does Price honestly think the tourism sector only covers hotels and airports? Is that guy serious,” economist Raphael Hernandez asked the Globe on Wednesday. “Just choosing a few out of that huge swath is incredible dangerous. Do this, and you make a lot of workers angry. Like restaurant workers. Under this bill, restaurant workers in hotels would get the big raise, while those not in a hotel would not. Or would you cover them then?”

“What about hotels attached to entertainment venues? Where would the line stop?”

“What’s worse is that you know hotels would have to jack up prices as a result, so tourism hurts as a result, even with the World Cup and Olympics coming here. A lot of people will switch to alternatives like Airbnb. Or we could see it all be more detached, with hotel and airport workers going through contractors instead so that their sector they are hired in isn’t direct and they can get around the minimum wage that way. This has happened before successfully.”

“Select workers would see temporary improvements, but Price is not looking at the long term effects here. A better solution, or should I say a realistic solution, would be a gradual rise in wages so hotels and the airport can adjust in time, not see a huge chunk of money disappear from the books because of the higher wages. He wants to help the people. That’s admirable. But do it responsibly and do it with input from the employers so no one is harmed because of this. Wage increases only work if no one loses their jobs because of it, and under Price’s plan, it just would not work.”

The proposal is expected to be voted on in the coming months.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Evan Symon
Spread the news:


3 thoughts on “$25 An Hour Minimum Wage Proposed by LA City Council For Tourism Workers

  1. The real question is why would anyone come to such a dump of a city for a vacation. Have you seen LA recently?

    1. You’re right, Protect Freedom. Especially once word fully gets out to tourists that in addition to the entire city being a dump, substance-addicted vagrants are in the hotel room next door and possibly in every other room on the floor because of a voucher issued by the city. Then there will be a tax-on-tourists attached to the hotel bill to cover the skyrocketing labor costs; that is, if they don’t find a way to tax L.A. city residents directly for it. Think this will help tourism? But that’s what you get when more literal Marxists are added to the ranks of the 15-member L.A. City Council, never mind the mayor, other city officials, etc. Way to further destroy the city economically and every other way, L.A.!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *