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Hotel Workers

May 21, 2013 | Steve Lopez
Last week, I visited a South Los Angeles woman whose story should embarrass us. It's a story that's not uncommon, and deserves the full attention of the next mayor of the city. Alicia, whose full name I'm withholding because she's afraid her boss would fire her, is a maid who started working for a major hotel chain in Hollywood about three years ago. Her hourly pay is $8.65, and her last raise was 5 cents an hour. I kid you not. They threw her an extra nickel. Toward the end of the mayoral campaign, local labor leaders tried to win support for candidate Wendy Greuel by suggesting that she would raise the minimum wage in Los Angeles to $15 an hour.
May 17, 2013 | By David Zahniser, Laura J. Nelson and Kate Linthicum, Los Angeles Times
The most powerful labor organization in Los Angeles refused Friday to back away from a campaign mailer in which it urges voters to support Wendy Greuel for mayor because she "will raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. " Even though Greuel has said she supports the higher "living wage" only for workers at large hotels, Los Angeles County Federation of Labor chief Maria Elena Durazo accused the media of "nitpicking" when she was questioned about the accuracy of the mailer, which went to Latino voters.
May 16, 2013 | By David Zahniser, Kate Linthicum and James Rainey
Union backers of Los Angeles mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel have sent out a new mailer declaring that she would raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour in L.A., even as Greuel and her allies disputed that she had made such a promise and called for all campaign groups to be "truthful. " The campaign mailer, produced by the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, reached voters' mailboxes on Wednesday. On the same day, Greuel and Councilman Jose Huizar specified that she supports a $15 an hour wage specifically for hotel workers, not for every worker in the city.
May 13, 2013 | By James Rainey
The union representing hotel workers in Los Angeles has been out in force campaigning for Wendy Greuel for mayor. In large part that's because union leaders said Greuel told them she supports their proposal to impose a $15-an-hour minimum wage at big hotels in the city. To fire up their workers, and voters, about the wage plan, United Here, Local 11, composed a mariachi-style song that it played over the weekend from a pickup equipped with loudspeakers. L.A. ELECTIONS 2013: Sign up for our email newsletter Union officials translated the Spanish lyrics into English.
May 12, 2013 | James Rainey, Maeve Reston and David Zahniser
The pickup truck tooled around Highland Park on Saturday morning, loudspeakers in back crooning in Spanish: "Wendy, la Wendy. We're gonna vote. $15 an hour we'll make. Wendy, la Wendy, we're gonna dance. Eric Garcetti, start crying. " A political mailer prepared by the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor -- and duly posted on the city's Ethics Commission website -- offers a strikingly similar promise. "On May 21, our votes can raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour," says the brochure from the Coalition for Better Schools and Communities, the organization's "super-PAC.
March 25, 2013 | Jim Newton
Controller Wendy Greuel pulled off a surprising coup last week when she secured the endorsement of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor despite an acknowledgment by many labor leaders that they feel closer philosophically to her opponent, Councilman Eric Garcetti. The endorsement was in many ways, though, more about Garcetti than about Greuel. Organized labor has been unhappy with Garcetti in part because he supported revisions to the city's pension rules that curbed benefits and raised the retirement age for new employees.
March 9, 2013 | By Wesley Lowery, Los Angeles Times
For decades, Long Beach hotel workers fought for better wages. But their efforts to start unions mostly fizzled. So last year, union backers tried something new: a ballot measure. Voters swiftly gave them what years of picket lines and union-card drives had failed to secure - a $13-per-hour minimum wage for hundreds of Long Beach hotel workers. A similar shift happened in San Jose, where voters in November awarded workers a higher minimum wage not just in hotels, but citywide.
December 15, 2012 | By Ruben Vives and Wesley Lowery, Los Angeles Times
A week before a new minimum wage for Long Beach hotels goes into effect, a large, marina-area hotel has told all of its employees - 75 people - that they will be laid off, according to union representatives. But in a confrontation with union activists at the hotel Friday, a man who identified himself as the manager of the 175-room Best Western Golden Sails denied that the ballot measure triggered the cuts, saying bad economic conditions were to blame. When he walked away, the protesters followed him through the hotel chanting "Si se puede.
May 15, 2012 | By Alana Semuels
Temporary workers are often in high demand in a shaky economy. Businesses aren't yet ready to commit to full-time employees, especially when an economic recovery is far from certain. But in the latest recession and recovery, temporary workers seem even more prevalent than usual. Employment in temporary services grew 8.7% from April of last year to the same month this year, compared with just a 3.5% gain for the broader category of professional and business services over the same period.
April 4, 2012 | By Kate Linthicum, Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles City Council is considering granting economic incentives to the local hotel industry to encourage modernization projects and better pay for workers. In a motion introduced on Tuesday, the council agreed to ask several city departments for reports on how "public benefits" and other incentives could be used to help strengthen the local tourism industry, which the motion said is "lagging behind where it can be. " Hotels, the measure said, are aging and falling behind in energy efficiency, and hotel workers are largely "underpaid and overworked.
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