Los Angeles votes to adopt hotel worker protections

The Los Angeles City Council voted Tuesday to adopt an initiative that will boost wages for the city’s hotel workers, while providing increased protection against sexual assault and other threats they may face on the job.

The Hotel Worker Protection Initiative, backed by Unite Here Local 11, comes in response to the industry’s attempt to increase workloads and cut labor costs by eliminating daily room cleaning during the pandemic. It also provides vital protections against sexual assault for housekeepers while cleaning guest rooms.

Unite Here spokeswoman Maria Hernandez said hotel employees face increased workloads when rooms aren’t cleaned on a regular basis.

“If a hotel room hasn’t been cleaned in four or five days that’s a lot more work for someone to go in there and clean it up,” she said.

Passed on a 10-3 vote

Councilman Kevin de Leon spearheaded the motion to approve the Hotel Worker Protection Initiative, which was seconded by Councilman Curren Price and passed on a 10-3 vote.

The measure comes up for a second vote next week and is expected to be signed into law by Mayor Eric Garcetti. It would take effect about 30 days after that.

The ordinance will provide:

— Automatic daily room cleaning throughout the industry– Panic buttons and other security measures to protect hotel housekeepers from sexual assault and threatening conduct– Fair compensation for heavy workloads– Expansion of minimum wage law for hotel workers

The employees – including non-union workers and others represented by Unite Here Local 11 – have worked since late January to gather the 61,000 signatures needed to qualify the Hotel Worker Protection Initiative for the November ballot.

“They actually collected about 110,000 signatures,” Hernandez said.

By adopting the measure, the City Council will make the initiative an ordinance, avoiding an expensive and divisive general election campaign in November. It also makes Los Angeles one of the nation’s first …read more

Source:: Los Angeles Daily News

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