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Friday, Jun 9, 2023

Council Passes ‘Living Wage’ Compromise

The Los Angeles City Council voted Wednesday to adopt a revised version of the controversial living wage ordinance it passed last year. The council voted 9-3 to approve the measure, with City Council members Dennis Zine, Bernard Parks and Greig Smith in opposition. The new agreement calls for hotels along Century Boulevard near Los Angeles International Airport to pay its workers a living wage $9.39 per hour to workers with health insurance or $10.64 an hour to those without benefits over the next year. Under the plan, the increases are phased in over three periods. Additionally, the ordinance creates an economic overlay zone for the hotels and allows for $1 million in street improvements and funding for marketing the area. The city has also agreed to look into possible business tax reductions for the hotels. “The message we want to send today is: we can be business-friendly and worker-friendly at the same time. We think that balance can be met,” said Second District City Councilwoman Wendy Greuel during the lengthy City Council session. The revised has been measure widely criticized in the business community for not reflecting certain concessions. Many fear its passage could allow living wage ordinances to spread to other areas of the city. Greuel, however, said the new version is different from the first. “This ordinance has changed from its original version,” she said. “There’s been a lot of work and time put into it and a lot of input from others who may not agree about the end result.” But Parks questioned whether the council’s action was proper. “I think the fact that we’re using the legislative process to impose these fees on private businesses takes us away from what the council agreed when it imposed living wage on government contracts,” he said. “This is the wrong tool to use.”

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