Long Beach, CA: Over a hundred hospitality workers, Long Beach community leaders, and their allies testified and attended the Long Beach City Council meeting on Tuesday in favor of putting an initiative on the 2024 ballot that would put the city on a pathway to raise the wage for hospitality workers to $25 per hour.
The council voted unanimously to direct city staff to draft the policy that would go on the March 2024 ballot.
Yadira Aguilar, a housekeeper at the Hyatt Centric said “As a single mother, a better wage would mean I could better provide for my family. I pay $1,900 in rent and also take care of my sick mother in Mexico. It is hospitality workers like myself who make Long Beach run. Thank you to the council for hearing our voices.”
Ada Briceño, co-president of UNITE HERE Local 11 said, “During the pandemic, our members lost their livelihoods overnight and since then the tourism industry has bounced back with the help of billions in PPP loans. Hotels are now near maximum capacity, and making record profits. Thank you to the Long Beach City Council for voting to put hospitality workers and their families first.”
Grecia Lopez-Reyez, Director for Long Beach for a Just Economy said. “A ballot measure is an opportunity for voters to decide to raise the wage again for hospitality workers who are the backbone of a profitable industry. When workers thrive, we all thrive.”
“Long Beach’s tourism and hospitality industry plays a pivotal role in our local economy, and workers are the backbone of the industry. While the Long Beach City Council voted to forward a ballot measure to amend the Long Beach Hotel Worker Wage Ordinance by increasing the minimum wage, voters will ultimately decide in the March 2024 municipal election. I hope voters will vote to support it.” said Long Beach Councilmember Saro.
The push to raise the wage for Long Beach hospitality workers comes as the tourism industry has seen record revenue while workers struggle to stay housed and provide for their families.
Similar initiatives are being considered in other cities in the region, including Los Angeles, Anaheim, and Santa Monica. The council is expected to come back for a final vote on October 24, 2023.