Los Angeles Business Journal

Long Beach Hikes Wages for Airport, Convention Center Workers

By Howard Fine Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Long Beach City Council has approved an ordinance to raise the pay of airport and Convention Center workers to $13.26 an hour.

The measure, approved Tuesday on a 7-1 vote, applies to concessions and retail workers at both facilities. The wage will rise annually, based on cost-of-living increases. The ordinance also requires employers to pass on any service charges or tips to workers.

The ordinance exempts contractors who have collective bargaining agreements with their workers. Critics have said similar exemptions in other living wage measures indicate the primary purpose of the measures is to foster union organizing efforts. Unite Here Local 11, which represents hotel and food service workers, was the primary sponsor of the measure.

The ordinance is scheduled to take effect in mid-March. Employers will begin paying the higher wage as each operating contract with the city comes up for renewal.

In 2012, Long Beach voters approved Measure N. That measure boosted the minimum wage to $13 for workers at hotels with more than 100 rooms. That wage has since increased to $13.26.

A measure to increase wages for hotel workers in the city of Los Angeles to $15.37 an hour is expected to be introduced into the City Council in coming weeks.