The Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday ordered city staff to draft an amendment to the city's living wage ordinance that would extend its reach to hotels along the Century Boulevard corridor near Los Angeles International Airport.

The Council also requested that L.A. Inc. formerly the Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau submit a report later this month on the status of a proposed conference center near the airport. The Council also asked airport officials to determine whether federal funds could be used in a beautification project along Century Boulevard.

"The Century Corridor is really the gateway to Los Angeles," Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn said at the council meeting. "It's the first place visitors who come from all over the world see, and the hotel workers are Los Angeles' face of hospitality."

A report last month from a union and community activist-sponsored commission recommended the city extend its living wage and worker retention ordinances to benefit workers at airport area hotels.

The commission, chaired by former Councilwoman Ruth Galanter, concluded that average wages for hotel workers around LAX are 20 percent to 30 percent lower than hotel workers in Downtown L.A. or on the Westside. The commission also found most hotel workers lacked affordable health insurance and heard testimony that hotels often keep guest tips meant for hotel workers.

The commission was created by the Coalition for a New Century, an alliance of local unions, clergy, community-based groups and residents. The coalition is trying to boost wages and benefits for workers at 13 airport-area hotels through a unionization campaign and a simultaneous effort to bring city pressure on the hotels.

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