Since 2010, workers at LAX have had a higher minimum wage that is now up to $15.84/hour. Recently, this ordinance was also approved for thousands of hotel workers.
Hotel employees and lawmakers have been pushing for a higher minimum wage. And on September 23, they cheered as the Los Angeles city council voted 12 to 3 for a gradual, citywide minimum wage increase. So far, it is the highest minimum wage for hotel workers in the US.
There are conditions, however. The $15.37 rate will be given to hotels with 300 rooms or more. Smaller hotels with at least 125 rooms will be impacted on 2016.
Last year, it was reported that 27% of LA’s population lived in poverty and a wage increase could be the solution. Many supporters believe that this will create balance in the community when employees would be able to provide for their family by spending their salary in local businesses.
Other cities are expected to follow the lead of LA. Wall Street Journal announced that 11 state legislatures will implement a minimum wage increase this year. Massachusetts is planning to order an $11/hour wage in 2017. President Barack Obama, on the other hand, agreed to raise the federal minimum from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour. This would be the first nationwide increase since 2009.
Other states like Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska and South Dakota are considering ballot initiatives to push the increase of minimum wage. In Long Beach, voters approved a $13.53 minimum wage and paid sick days for hotel workers.
Business advocates believe that higher minimum wage will result in job loss at many hotels. They argue that increased minimum wage has a negative impact on the local economy.
This could be a trend nationwide as states and counties look to businesses for their own economic woes.