Long Beach Workers, Community file for Living Wage Inititiative
In The News

longlongFebruary 23, 2012 - - Long Beach, Calif.-- Long Beach community members and workers launched today a campaign to improve standards of living for Long Beach’s hospitality workers.

The proposed initiative, Living Wage for Hospitality Workers, would require hotels with more than 100 rooms, the Long Beach Airport and the Long Beach Convention Center to pay workers $13 an hour. Community members filed the measure today at Long Beach City Hall.

Volunteers will gather the required number of signatures to qualify the measure for the November 2012 ballot, giving Long Beach voters the opportunity to improve living standards for Long Beach’s hospitality workers.


“As Long Beach hospitality workers, we take care of the tourists who support our local businesses,” said Debbie Pacheco, a Hyatt Long Beach front desk agent. “We deserve a wage that allows us to take care of our families as well.”

But current wages leave many hotel and food services workers struggling.

Romeo Trinidad works as a houseperson at the Hilton Long Beach, making $10.81 per hour—about $432 per week. Annually, that’s $22,484 before taxes. He pays $750 a month for a one-bedroom apartment for his family of four. He qualifies for public assistance to pay for housing, electricity and gas.

“If I made a little more money, I would rent a two-bedroom apartment so my kids don’t have to sleep in the living room,” said Trinidad, who has worked at the Hilton for more than 10 years.

Veronica Flores, a housekeeper who worked at the Hilton Long Beach for five years, made $8 an hour. If she worked 40 hours a week, she earned $320. Annually, that’s $16,640 per year. She and her two children had to live together in one bedroom of a two-bedroom apartment.

“Companies should pay people enough to survive,” said Gary Hytrek, a Long Beach Coalition for Good Jobs and a Healthy Community member and Cal State Long Beach professor. “Someone who works 40 hours per week should be able to afford housing, food, health care, and other basic necessities of life, with a little leftover to enjoy life.”

For more information, please contact Annette Quintero at 562-396-4552 or 714-335-5297.

 

 

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