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Raising the Minimum Wage for Working Men and Women in California and the Rest of America

Will L.A. Set the Standard for a Higher Minimum Wage?

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The Los Angeles hotel labor movement, one of the few bright spots nationally for organized labor in the private sector, threw down the gauntlet for a higher minimum wage today.

The raw material for its campaign to raise the minimum wage for large hotels in the city to $15.37 an hour is a report from the Economic Roundtable that makes for demoralizing reading. The study found that nearly 811,000 workers in L.A. live on less than $15 an hour. That’s where the study places the threshold of a “living wage,” and it’s hard to argue with the judgment; for a full-time worker that’s about $26,250 a year. (The raise would apply at hotels with more than 100 rooms.)

As we observed in December, efforts to raise the minimum wage have become local grass-roots campaigns because Congress has dropped the ball: despite indications of interest among congressional Democrats and in the White House, the chances of a raise in the federal minimum wage any time soon are, well, conjectural. The goal of L.A. labor leaders is to move an ordinance for hotel workers through the City Counci l, where it’s to be sponsored by council members Mike Bonin and Nury Martinez.

• Category: California • Tags: Michael Hiltzik