The operator of the Four Points Sheraton LAX hotel has called on other Los Angeles International Airport-area hotels to drop their effort to repeal the city’s new living wage law for Century Boulevard Corridor hotels.
Michael Gallegos, chief executive officer of American Property Management Corporation, also said that 12 workers who were told Tuesday, December 12th, that they no longer had jobs would be rehired immediately with back pay.
Gallegos pledged to pay his employees the city’s living wage and remain neutral if his employees choose to organize.
He made the announcement at a press conference Thursday, December 14th, with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and City Councilmembers Bill Rosendahl, Jan- ice Hahn, Jose Huizar and Ed Reyes, as well as Maria Elena Durazo of the County Federation of Labor and the workers who will be reinstated.
“I ask all my fellow hotel operators to abandon this effort to referendize the living wage,” said Gallegos. “You are on the wrong side of this issue — get on board.”
American Property Management, which is based in San Diego and operates 43 hotels, took control of the Four Points Sheraton LAX December 12th.
The announcement came after efforts by numerous political and labor leaders to resolve the situation.
“This company and its CEO (chief executive officer) have taken a courageous step, and shown by example how businesses, elected officials, labor leaders and workers can come together to make Los Angeles a better city,” said Vivian Rothstein, deputy director of the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy, which helped spearhead the living wage effort.
Last month, the City Council approved the living wage law that will raise pay for 3,500 workers at 13 hotels near LAX.
The council also approved a worker retention ordinance designed to ensure that workers would not lose their jobs when hotels are sold.
The living wage and worker retention laws are both scheduled to take effect Saturday, December 30th, unless challenged.
Hotels and other business groups are trying to repeal the living wage ordinance by collecting signatures for a ballot referendum.
The repeal effort has received a strong negative response from state and national leaders, including 22 California Congressional representatives who have urged the hotels to drop the referendum.
Barbara J. Moore, who has worked at the Four Points hotel for eight years, praised the company for its decision to call on businesses to drop the referendum.
“It takes real leadership and vision to do what this company and its owners have done,” Moore said. “I hope that the other hotels will listen to their call and respect the right of workers to earn a living wage and provide a better life to their families.”