Saturday, May 05, 2007

Wage Law No Longer Living

Judge rules in favor of LAX-area hotels
By Kerry Cavanaugh

The Los Angeles City Council lost its legal showdown with the business community on Friday, when a judge struck down its effort to impose a living-wage ordinance on hotels near LAX.
. . .
The ruling marked a major setback for the council and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who worked with the city's powerful unions to craft the controversial living-wage ordinance.

"The judge's decision is shocking to me, and I expect the city attorney to appeal," said Councilwoman Janice Hahn, who helped push for the law.
. . .
Los Angeles has had a living-wage requirement for more than a decade, but it had been applied only to firms doing business directly with the city.

In expanding it to the hotels, the council argued that the facilities benefit from their proximity to Los Angeles International Airport and its city-funded improvements, and so they could be required to pay higher wages.

The expanded living-wage law, first adopted in November, required 13 hotels along Century Boulevard to increase workers' hourly pay to $9.39 with health insurance, or to $10.64 without health benefits.

But hotels and business groups vigorously fought back, saying the city has no right to set wages for private-sector workers.

They also worried that the law could set a precedent and lead to similar ordinances being expanded to other industries.

The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce teamed up with hotels and spent $800,000 to gather more than 103,000 signatures to put the ordinance on the May ballot with the hope that voters would overturn the law.
. . .
Read the whole story at: LA Daily News
AND if you want to read about the struggle from the people actually living/fighting it: Coalition for a New Century

I think the saddest part about all of this is that I'm not even sure "$9.39 with health insurance, or . . . $10.64 without health benefits" deserves to be called a living wage.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

alHAMDULILLAH, one step in the right direction.