LA City Council Proposes $30 Minimum Wage For Airport & Hotel Workers

LA City Council Proposes $30 Minimum Wage For Airport & Hotel Workers

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If a proposal from the Los Angeles City Council is passed, many airport and hospitality workers in Los Angeles could soon be looking at a $30 minimum wage.

LAX & hotels may get $30 minimum wage

Los Angeles already has among the highest minimum wages in the country, and that could soon be increasing even further for select workers. A new proposal would increase the minimum wage for hotel workers and workers at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX):

  • The minimum wage would be increased to $25 per hour in 2023
  • There would be yearly $1 increases, until a $30 minimum wage is reached in 2028
  • This would apply to all workers at LAX, including security guards, baggage handlers, janitors, airline catering employees, retail and restaurant workers, and other airport staff
  • This would apply to all workers at hotels with 60 or more rooms, including housekeepers, room service attendants, and other hospitality staff

This ordinance would see the City Council revise and consolidate the Los Angeles Living Wage Ordinance (LWO), Los Angeles Citywide Hotel Worker Minimum Wage Ordinance, and Los Angeles Hotel Worker Protection Ordinance.

Before this will be voted on, an economic impact analysis report is being performed, and the Office of the City Attorney is drafting the ordinance. So far six of the 14 city council members have come out in support of this, while the remaining eight have not commented on the proposal one way or another.

All airport staff would benefit from this increased minimum wage

My take on this proposed wage increase

People will presumably have wildly varying thoughts on this proposal. It goes without saying that this proposal would lead to (by far) the highest minimum wage in the country. A few thoughts:

  • A $30 minimum wage sounds like a lot, but ultimately that’s potentially five years down the road, and beyond the initial $25 minimum wage, that’s a 4% annual increase
  • If you were paid $30 per hour and worked 40 hours per week and 50 weeks per year, you’d be making $60,000 per year
  • What I’m a bit confused by is why it’s specifically hotel and airport employees who would be eligible for this high minimum wage; why not extend this to other workers as well?
  • It goes without saying that this would lead to significant labor cost increases, and that would be passed on to consumers
  • I can only imagine the further service cuts we’d see at hotels, as hotel owners do everything they can to cut costs; room service and housekeeping will be even less of a thing than now
  • In general I’m all for paying people more on the low end (life is expensive!), but with a minimum wage this high, I question to what extent we’ll see additional incremental pay for managers, loyal employees, etc.; I worry the pay range would be very small, and would make workers pretty unlikely to go the extra mile

Anyway, I’m curious to see what happens with this proposal.

Hotel workers could be making a minimum of $30

Bottom line

The Los Angeles City Council has proposed a minimum wage increase specifically for workers at LAX, as well as workers at hotels. If passed, they’d be looking at a $25 minimum wage this year, and a $30 minimum wage by 2028. This would be by far the highest minimum wage in the country, so let’s see how it plays out.

What do you make of this minimum wage increase proposal?

Conversations (77)
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  1. E.R. Guest

    Housekeeping cutbacks will not happen due to other ordinances recently passed. The new regulations require that rooms in Los Angeles be cleaned daily and that no housekeeper can be made to clean more than certain amount of square footage, guaranteeing that hotels cannot reduce their HK teams below the amount the Local 11 union (who got the regulation passed) finds reasonable.

  2. Hotel Worker In LA Guest

    As a hotel worker in LA, yeah, this is needed.

    I earn $20 hourly, and it's just enough to squeak by so long as you are either willing to share a bedroom with someone or live in a micro-studio in some rundown building the property managers don't care about. You cannot even begin to approach single living on your own unless you are earning at least $25 hourly, closer to $27 hourly.

    Honestly, $25 to $30 should be the minimum wage in Los Angeles across the board.

  3. Bis as usual Guest

    This will be a win for the employees and honestly for the flyers, we won't see much of a difference. After the initial bumb, from what? 20 to 25? Then it's 4 percent a year? To the 2nd largest city in one of richest country in the history of the world? Passengers will continue to fly into LAX and it'll be fine.

  4. Miami305 Gold

    Don't be surprised to see LAX lose a ton of traffic if this passes. The cost will certainly be passed on to airlines, who will try to pass it on to customers.

    Way bad idea.

  5. Creditcrunch Diamond

    Well I hope this initiative rolls out throughout the US resulting in a non guilty attitude when customers don’t tip.

  6. Don Guest

    A $25 or $30 per hour minimum wage for someone cashing out customers at an airport news stand is not fair to those working in positions with greater responsibility.

    The individual working the counter at the news stand or the fast food restaurant taking your order will be making $52k / year. A teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District, with a bachelor's degree is starting at $56k / year.
    https://achieve.lausd.net/Page/4045
    ...

    A $25 or $30 per hour minimum wage for someone cashing out customers at an airport news stand is not fair to those working in positions with greater responsibility.

    The individual working the counter at the news stand or the fast food restaurant taking your order will be making $52k / year. A teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District, with a bachelor's degree is starting at $56k / year.
    https://achieve.lausd.net/Page/4045
    Los Angeles Unified School District
    Click on the chart ..... 2022-2023 Salaries for Teachers with Regular Credentials

    1. Eskimo Guest

      You want fairness or you want freedom?
      You can't have your cake and eat it.

    2. Sosongblue Guest

      @Eskimo,

      That’s a complete non-sequitur…..how bout just stick to freedom and the free market.

    3. Eskimo Guest

      @Sosongblue

      Free market you say?
      I guess they did a great job propagating monopoly, antitrust, as a positive to freedom and free market.

      With a real free market, you'd be buying almost everything from Standard Oil using Microsoft IE on Bell Company's network, all of which are invested by J.P. Morgan. Not so fair for Rockefeller right?
      How's that for non sequitur.

    4. Don Guest

      Anyone can have your cake and eat it .... the trick is to eat your cake and still have it.

  7. Eskimo Guest

    $30 minimum wage?
    No more mandatory tips for you.
    Your only plausible argument of being fairly compensated is gone.

    1. Hotel Front Desk Worker Guest

      That's fine.

      As a hotel worker, tips are hardly guaranteed as it is. It is very rare for housekeeping teams to actually receive tips, and front desk staff in hotels only ever see tips as a very rare nice thing. Those tips are not supplementing our incomes in Los Angeles all that significantly, and nearly all of us in the industry would prefer the stability that will come from a $25 to $30 minimum wage than the unpredictable and fickle allure of tips.

  8. JP Guest

    Why can't these people just work for free?
    They should be happy on the sheer previledge that they are service us white people in the first place, let alone asking for actual pay.
    It's just un-American to ask for more money instead of just being born white and previledged, my money is MY money.

    1. Diego Guest

      Let’s not worry about making sensible arguments based on economic impact and just blame white people. Also, the people being impacted are not the ones asking. Your response isn’t as clever as you think it is.

    2. MG Guest

      JP thought it was an awesome, hilarious post before you shot it down, haha.

  9. iamhere Guest

    As others pointed out, you did not comment on the machines and automation. It reminds me of the article regarding the airline that plans to automate their check in and many more are doing so. If you have one staff for every handful of stations then you need less staff. Higher minimum wage often sounds good but companies will seek alternatives to use fewer people.

  10. Gavin R. Putland Guest

    What's better for workers than a higher minimum wage? A tax on vacant land and unoccupied premises. A higher minimum wage discourages hiring. But a vacancy tax on residential property makes the owners get residential tenants (and set the rents within reach of wages), while a vacancy tax on commercial property makes the owners get business tenants, who in turn will need workers, leading to higher *market* wages and more stable jobs.

    What's better for...

    What's better for workers than a higher minimum wage? A tax on vacant land and unoccupied premises. A higher minimum wage discourages hiring. But a vacancy tax on residential property makes the owners get residential tenants (and set the rents within reach of wages), while a vacancy tax on commercial property makes the owners get business tenants, who in turn will need workers, leading to higher *market* wages and more stable jobs.

    What's better for business than a lower minimum wage? A tax on vacant land and unoccupied premises! A lower minimum wage cuts the spending power of prospective customers, and makes it harder for prospective employees to afford housing within a manageable distance of your business. But a vacancy tax on nearby residential property keeps it populated with prospective customers and workers, while a vacancy tax on nearby commercial property keeps it populated with complementary businesses that will attract foot traffic to *your* business.

    Notice that a vacant-property tax is meant to be AVOIDED, not paid. Moreover, avoidance of it would generate economic activity, expanding the bases of other taxes and allowing their rates to be cut, so that both workers and businesses would pay LESS tax!

    1. Eskimo Guest

      Another over optimistic liberal who sees a good looking theory but doesn't know how economics really work.

  11. ArnoldB Guest

    So who let the chinese Chatbot out again?

  12. BenjaminGuttery Diamond

    This is insanity. Plain and simple. I predict numerous businesses closing, moving, and IF anything new opens it will ebay run by robots and kiosks or have 59 rooms and be ultra expensive.

  13. Bob Eagleburger Guest

    Don’t they make enough money stealing stuff from guests?

  14. Hank Tarn Guest

    The Communism in California terrifies me. As long as they stay and enjoy there woke anti American dictatorship.

    1. Ben L. Diamond

      Wow, a conservative who's terrified of something they made up in their head? Must be a day ending in -y.

    2. Icarus Guest

      Another ignorant Yank. Paying a living wage, universal healthcare, maternity and paternity leave, decent annual leave, state pensions. It’s called living in a civilised country. The US is the only one without sick pay, let alone redundancy legislation.

      But always guns. Don’t take your guns away. The right to commit mass murder, shoot our neighbours is in your constitution.

    3. David Guest

      Just an ignorant Yank here. So in your utopia country who is supposed to pay all of those items you enumerated? As the great Margaret Thatcher said, "There's no such thing as government money, there is only taxpayer's money."

    4. madgoat Member

      @David We are already paying for it. The US has amongst the highest, if not highest, aggregate healthcare costs and amongst the lowest outcomes of OECD nations. We pay for a shambles social safety net by having the highest incarceration rate in the world. Our economic system and economy is set up to transfer trillions of dollars from our hands to the pockets of billionaires and leaving us with crumbling roads, falling bridges and failing...

      @David We are already paying for it. The US has amongst the highest, if not highest, aggregate healthcare costs and amongst the lowest outcomes of OECD nations. We pay for a shambles social safety net by having the highest incarceration rate in the world. Our economic system and economy is set up to transfer trillions of dollars from our hands to the pockets of billionaires and leaving us with crumbling roads, falling bridges and failing infrastructure. We’re definitely paying for it.

    5. Miami305 Gold

      And what is the unemployment rate in 'civilized' countries like France? 40%.
      And why do Canadians flock to America when they have 'free' socialized medicine?

      (crickets)

    6. Indopithecus Guest

      A living wage is 'Communism'??? Bring it on, baby!

    7. Rene Guest

      Every state has a minimum wage. Is that communism? I think this is extremely high and maybe not a good idea, but communism, it is not.

  15. frrp Diamond

    Some of the LAX hotels are already trying to charge guests an extra fee to cover their staffing costs (in additional to the dumb 'tipping' system), so thatll only get worse

  16. Joshua Member

    When did the minimum wage also become a living wage? Who has been working for any period of time and still makes minimum wage? If you’re 25 years old and still in a job that pays minimum wage, you’re doing it wrong. Be more dependable, learn more skills, get more education, and you’ll be more valuable. When you’re more valuable you’ll get paid more.

    1. Jeffery Guest

      Says Joshua who’s skills include furiously typing out meme filled emails off his MacBook in seat 15B on his company paid business trip to discuss business that could be managed by an AI program :)

    2. madgoat Member

      The job is valuable to the employer though or they wouldn’t staff it. If the employer can’t pay a living wage for the job the employer doesn’t have a viable business and is relying on exploiting labor to make ends meet, or worse, line their pockets.

    3. E. Guest

      The minimum wage has ALWAYS been intended to serve as a living wage.

      That is why it was created, to stabilize the post-depression economy and protect American workers from economic uncertainty, to create a minimum standard of living to protect the health and well-being of employees.

      Like that is the exact reason it was created, bruh.

  17. Kaneesha Johnson Washington Guest

    Have you seen the Help in Los Angeles? Mostly Ben Crump customers.

  18. James S Guest

    This is a good way to clap back at the hotels that are trying to force us to tip their staff.

    And in terms of raising costs to consumers, this is much better than many cities that add a 12% tax to hotel stays to subsidize a new stadium for a billionaire

  19. Alex Guest

    The city owns the airport, so it’s not too bizarre for them to see different rules for airport workers. However I do find it somewhat strange that hotel workers should get a different minimum wage from everyone else in Los Angeles.

    1. BenjaminGuttery Diamond

      Hmmmmm....I wonder if some special interest is "donating" money to the certain city employees????

  20. dander Guest

    The city needs to stay out of the compensation business. Many of these jobs are entry level and people can learn skills. So the employer has to pay high wages, and has two candidates one is new to the markey and the other is experienced mature and dependable. Guess which one gets hired? Also I see many jobs being cut.

  21. max Guest

    One "inside baseball" angle on this is that broadly speaking, the living wage ordinance does not apply to workers who are covered by a collective bargaining agreement (or at the very least can be made not to apply under a CBA). So the left-leaning LA City Council likely views this as a win win -- either because employees get a new, higher wage or more employers fall in line with union organization of their employees...

    One "inside baseball" angle on this is that broadly speaking, the living wage ordinance does not apply to workers who are covered by a collective bargaining agreement (or at the very least can be made not to apply under a CBA). So the left-leaning LA City Council likely views this as a win win -- either because employees get a new, higher wage or more employers fall in line with union organization of their employees because they could potentially bargain to pay less than the living wage in exchange for other conditions.

    1. NedsKid Diamond

      That's exactly what happened in Seattle... Alaska created its own ground handling McGee, went to the IAM, and voluntarily unionized it before hiring a single hourly employee. So they can pay under the LWO, with the "But you can fly for free!" (if you find seats which airlines will sell at any cost to make a buck to cover rising costs elsewhere)

  22. LibertarianinManhattan Guest

    solution - just avoid LA / LAX at all costs for SNA. Just finished a trip at Coachella and the Hilton LAX I chose to stay at was a total dumpster fire. To think that their prices ($50 some odd for parking overnight and $50 for 2 breakfast croissants) go along with those ratchet, dated rooms and guest service attitudes. Add the total disaster getting into and out of LAX is and will continue to...

    solution - just avoid LA / LAX at all costs for SNA. Just finished a trip at Coachella and the Hilton LAX I chose to stay at was a total dumpster fire. To think that their prices ($50 some odd for parking overnight and $50 for 2 breakfast croissants) go along with those ratchet, dated rooms and guest service attitudes. Add the total disaster getting into and out of LAX is and will continue to be regardless of the people mover and traffic updates and hopefully several airlines will start leveraging alternative airfields for transcon (oh hey, AA JFK to SNA!) Also, @YinDaoYan must be manufacturing the robots that they are ok with taking over :D (no evidence, sorry) I'm originally from CA and all for it sinking into the ocean under its own weight of socialism.

  23. Terrance Woodson Guest

    I work in IT and get paid close to $30. YOu're telling me my years of work experience, schooling, and self studying will get me the same rate as hotel and airport workers?! No thank you! I'll be sure to vote a HELL NO on this. When will LA and/or California ever learn!

    1. Icarus Guest

      You should take it up with your employer rather than disparaging people who probably work harder than you. You’re obviously working for the wrong company. Move to a civilised country in Europe where we have proper legislation and workers rights.

    2. Richard Guest

      @Icarus - Your ignorance is not bliss. Wrong employer?? So you believe that teachers that have completed a 4-year degree and work very hard to educate the future generation have the wrong employer as well since a potential GED individual sweeping a floor can make roughly the same salary.

    3. Icarus Guest

      Why not ? The one sweeping the floor has just as much right to a decent salary. Those doing other jobs such as teaching should expect more though. It’s called a living wage for a reason.
      The US is one of the most expensive countries in the world.
      Anyhow, the US is an awful place to work with no workers rights.

    4. dander Guest

      I agree I was making bank in the early 2000's. things happened and I am finally making good money. I'm in a highly skilled high demand trade. Want good money bring skills to the table

    5. E. Guest

      No one is telling you that.

      We ARE telling you that you are seriously underpaid though.

  24. AdamH Guest

    I don’t really get why these are the groups identified but I digress. I think a lot of the political fall from a decision like this comes down to they can say it’s passed along to just affluent travelers. The reality is that is a farce as it drives up labor across the whole market if there is a unbalanced reward that employees will seek out in certain industries driving up labor costs elsewhere in the market (competition).

  25. YinDaoYan Diamond

    I find this proposal good and feasible. Airfares out of LAX tend to be low because no carrier has a hub there. Yet, LAX serves an affluent Southern Californian population where the culture is heavily in favor of travel and wanderlust, even if it's only for superficial Instagram moments. Demand for air travel ex-LAX is almost certainly inelastic to a living wage surcharge, added to all tickets, that would pay for this wage increase.

    1. Terrance Woodson Guest

      Are we flying out of the same airport? I just traveled to Houston on Spirit Airlines and prices were HIGH.

    2. TravelinWilly Diamond

      “Airfares out of LAX tend to be low because no carrier has a hub there.”

      Delta, United, and Southwest would be eager to know about this.

    3. JB Guest

      Alaska, American, Delta, United all consider LAX a hub, and Jetblue, Southwest, and Allegiant classify it as a focus city. Spirit also has a large presence at LAX, and Breeze has also announced a bunch of routes starting soon from the airport. So basically all the major U.S. airlines have hubs at LAX (with the exception of Frontier), but that competition is why airfare is so high.

    4. Never In Doubt Guest

      "Airfares out of LAX tend to be low because no carrier has a hub there."

      Typical clueless comment by you.

    5. MarkMyWords Guest

      Typical bullying and trolling comment by you!

    6. Eskimo Guest

      Can you please introduce evidence into this discussion? I do not take it as obvious that demand for air travel ex-LAX is almost certainly inelastic to a living wage surcharge.

  26. Alonzo Diamond

    Funny how these articles and opinions come out and everyone fails to mention that these increases just come with worse worker attitudes, service, skill, effort and desire to do a great job.

    1. YinDaoYan Diamond

      Can you please introduce evidence into this discussion? I do not take it as obvious that increased pay leads to worse performance.

    2. Chris Guest

      Yea, I've worked from minimum wage jobs up through jobs with a good salary, and I can pretty much guarantee that I've been more motivated at the higher salary jobs. Plus I find it much more easy to do a better job when I'm not worrying about the slightest life mishap thrusting me into debt; I can concentrate on what's in front of me, making me a better worker.

    3. Alonzo Diamond

      So have I. But is your attitude the majority? Nope. More pay does not equal better attitude or more effort.

    4. ll5777779 Member

      higher min wage = greater interest from workers = management can pick the best of the best, and easier to replace low performers. if you want a premium product, you gotta pay premium prices. i feel like this is a simple concept, except when it comes to labor apparently

    5. Alonzo Diamond

      Replace lower performers? There's no way in hell you are out and about in public and experiencing the service industry lmao. Clueless drone. Get a clue donkey.

  27. Eric Guest

    I wonder if the big4 airlines all scale their LAX presence and focus more on o&d and route connecting traffic elsewhere.

    AA has Seattle as an alternative for pacific routes with As feed and phx for domestic connections. Delta built out their own feed in Seattle plus their hub in slc. UA has SFO.

    The operating cost of the gate agents, baggage handlers, shuttle drivers and hotel housekeeping went up. I'd expect them to shrink, layover fewer crew.

    1. Donato Guest

      The airlines don't decide, they react to changes in consumer choice that respond to price. You can be sure that once costs are factored in the consumers will respond.
      While I can see paying fair wages, these jobs are often for those least trained and educated. There will be a wave of wage increases to others as workers all respond to hospitality paying high wages.

  28. Gabriel C Guest

    Whatever job position pays well above the normal "market rate" or has any sort of abnormally good benefit for comparable role and individual skills will be subject to a sort of racketeering to get that job.

    1. Gabriel C Guest

      All the unionized jobs that you can't access to unless you are have a relative inside.

  29. Regis Guest

    Looks nice on paper. The end result, however, will be automation, workers being replaced by robots, and demands for increased efficiency (employers demanding workers do the work of two or more staff) to justify the increased pay. This, ultimately, will result in loss of jobs in the respective job classifications and the surviving staff having to work a lot harder.

    1. YinDaoYan Diamond

      This "end result" is happening no matter what the wage is. Cheaper to pay a robot $0 per hour, than a human $0.01 per hour.

    2. Chris Guest

      Let's use ChatGPT to automate some executive jobs and save some real money.

  30. Scooter Guest

    If the airport can charge $8 for a bottle of water that cost $1 in the real world and $15 for a beer that costs $6 in the real world, then they can certainly pay the employees $30 an hour without batting an eye.

    1. Donato Guest

      Please get real. The airport vendors charge that because they need to to pay the exorbitant rent they are charged. The rent pays the airport authority which built the terminal and other improvements.
      I accept the fact that things are priced high at airports, I can not accept illegal money grabs such as I experienced at JFK. I bought a T-shirt for my wife as an extra layer if the temperature onboard gets too...

      Please get real. The airport vendors charge that because they need to to pay the exorbitant rent they are charged. The rent pays the airport authority which built the terminal and other improvements.
      I accept the fact that things are priced high at airports, I can not accept illegal money grabs such as I experienced at JFK. I bought a T-shirt for my wife as an extra layer if the temperature onboard gets too low. The price was exorbitant, which I accepted. They then added on New York State Sales tax which does not apply to clothing items below $110. I was told either buy it or not.

    2. Alonzo Diamond

      Stop smoking that stuff Dr. Dao. ChatGPT got you shook.

  31. Ben L. Diamond

    It would nice if the City Council stopped making it so hard to build new housing supply in Los Angeles. I'm a strong supporter of a livable minimum wage, but at present, the rate for a livable wage is much higher than it needs to be simply because the city is facing a severe housing shortage. Fix the zoning, allow more housing to be built, and let the city become more affordable as residents stop having to claw and scrape just to get decent housing.

  32. James Guest

    The LAX living wage is already $23.81 currently, so this is hardly much a move.

    1. Patrick Guest

      "Living wage"... what exactly is that? A living wage for a single person is definitely different than a living wage for a married person with a couple of kids. Do you pay based on the job or the "status" of the person working the job?

    2. Donato Guest

      Living wage is a term designed and designated by those of a certain mindset. To be candid, it might be that those at the lower end of job skill and language skills might not be able to earn a wage that allows them to live in expensive locales.

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Regis Guest

Looks nice on paper. The end result, however, will be automation, workers being replaced by robots, and demands for increased efficiency (employers demanding workers do the work of two or more staff) to justify the increased pay. This, ultimately, will result in loss of jobs in the respective job classifications and the surviving staff having to work a lot harder.

5
Alonzo Diamond

Funny how these articles and opinions come out and everyone fails to mention that these increases just come with worse worker attitudes, service, skill, effort and desire to do a great job.

4
Ben L. Diamond

It would nice if the City Council stopped making it so hard to build new housing supply in Los Angeles. I'm a strong supporter of a livable minimum wage, but at present, the rate for a livable wage is much higher than it needs to be simply because the city is facing a severe housing shortage. Fix the zoning, allow more housing to be built, and let the city become more affordable as residents stop having to claw and scrape just to get decent housing.

4
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