Los Angeles Business Journal

Long Beach Voters Could See 'Living Wage' Measure

By Howard Fine Originally published February 23, 2012 at 3:10 p.m., updated February 23, 2012 at 5:43 p.m.

Backers of a living wage measure that would benefit hospitality workers in Long Beach launched a campaign to win a spot on the city’s November ballot.

If passed, all hotels in the city with more than 100 rooms would have to pay their workers $13 an hour. The measure would also cover employers with contracts at Long Beach Municipal Airport and the Long Beach Convention Center.

To qualify, Unite Here Local 11 hotel workers union and community activists must collect 20,000 valid signatures within the next 180 days. If voters approve the measure in November, it would be the first living wage measure to take effect in Long Beach.

Unlike living wage measures in Los Angeles, this initiative does not provide for a lower living wage level if the employer provides health insurance.

Opposition to the measure is expected from the Long Beach hotel industry and other local business groups.