LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Thousands of hotel employees in Los Angeles will learn Wednesday whether they will receive an increase in wages, as the City Council considers a law that would require big hotels to pay all workers a minimum of $15.37 per hour.
The potentially historic wage increase is not supported by everyone, however, as a number of hotel owners worry about the financial impact it could trigger.READ MORE: Trio Of 55-Gallon Drums Found Leaking Motor Oil In Redlands Citrus Grove
“This is our sole business; it’s our No. 1 investment,” Beverly Garland Hotel’s James Crank said. “So, we would be under tremendous financial strain to meet this new wage.”
Labor unions behind the increase, meanwhile, say the increase could help pull some hotel workers’ families out of poverty.READ MORE: LA Facing $550M Revenue Shortfall On Sharp Declines In Transient, Parking Occupancy Taxes
“The hospitality industry is one of the few industries that came out of the recession and has been seeing record profit,” Raise LA Coalition’s Rachel Torres said. “But unfortunately, hotel workers have been living below poverty.”
A number of business groups expect that the increase may force hotels to cut back their work force and scare away hotel developers from Los Angeles.
“There is the mayor’s proposal of a minimum wage at $13.25,” Crank said. “We have factored that in, and that is sustainable, because we are not about not raising the wage. We just want it to be a sustainable economic reality, and we want to be brought to the table and have a discussion about it.”MORE NEWS: Irv Cross, Former Rams Player And Broadcast Pioneer, Dies At 81
The proposal, which will be voted on at 1 p.m. Wednesday, will affect hotels with 125 rooms or more in Los Angeles and would go into effect in July 2015.