The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) and the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) have filed a lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles, arguing against an ordinance that attempts to exercise power beyond the limits of the city’s authority.
Filed in the federal United States District Court for the Central District of California, the lawsuit seeks to prevent the city from enforcing its provisions on the grounds that it disrupts the relationship between labour and employers established by US Congress.
AH&LA president and CEO Katherine Lugar said: "Our workers are the backbone of every hotel. We are proud of the opportunities we provide to the hard-working men and women in the hotel sector that enable countless individuals to climb the ladder of opportunity and build life-long careers.
"We are prepared to work with local officials on a fair, balanced and across-the-board increase, but we cannot and will not stand by when recent actions by the city council single out hotels."
The ordinance includes an ‘exemption for collective bargaining agreement’ that empowers unions to waive any part of the new ordinance for any hotel they cover through a collective bargaining agreement.
The law allows unions to pressure non-union hotels to organise.
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AAHOA interim president Chip Rogers said: "The city of Los Angeles is being pulled into taking sides between unions and hotels.
"The city council doesn’t have the authority to rewrite federal labour law, and this ordinance effectively gives unions the ability to pick and choose when and where the provisions of this ordinance will be enforced. That’s not right."
In a recent survey conducted in Los Angeles, 65% of voters are opposed to raising the minimum wage solely for hotel workers, and are supportive of the across-the-board minimum wage hike.