Summaries of our recent victories.
Worker Retention Policy:
In 2013, the Long Beach Council passed a worker retention policy for the Long Beach Convention Center and the Long Beach Airport, making Long Beach’s tourism industry more just, stable, and strong. Before the policy passed, city-contracted tourism workers could lose their jobs overnight when Airport or Convention Center authorities changed contractors; they had no protection. Thus, when SSP America lost their concession contract in 2012, 33 workers lost their jobs. This not only harms the workers, but also the Long Beach visitors’ tourism experiences, because employee continuity is necessary to maintaining predictable, high quality tourism operations. Continued employment of experienced workers fosters smooth transitions during management changes, preventing unnecessary upheaval and preserving travelers’ positive experiences and securing return business.
Labor Peace Agreement:
In 2013, the Long Beach Council passed a labor peace agreement for the Long Beach Airport and Convention Center that will minimize the chance of operational disruption and protect Long Beach taxpayers. Labor peace agreements ensure that workers and management work together rather than combatively. The union gives up its right to picket, strike or boycott the contractor, while the contractor agrees, for example, to not interfere with employees’ efforts to unionize. Similar agreements have been signed in the cities of Minneapolis and San Jose, at San Francisco’s Bayview-Hunters Point, at the Los Angeles Convention Center and at various Los Angeles hotels, and in the state of Colorado.
Minimum Wage for City-Contracted Tourism Employees:
In 2013, the Long Beach Council passed a minimum wage for city-contracted tourism employees. Higher minimum wages are common and often city-contracted tourism employees. Low wages cause high turnover in the tourism industry, which interrupts operations and negatively affects the city’s tourism brand. When workers receive higher wages, they invest their money locally, which increases business profits and the tax base. Currently, more than 140 local governments have implemented higher minimum wages or living wage policies, including the Los Angeles International Airport, the Los Angeles Convention Center, the Port of Los Angeles, Fisherman’s Wharf, the San Diego Convention Center, and the Miami International Airport.
Measure N was a Long Beach living wage ballot initiative to support low-wage hotel workers passed in November of 2012. Measure N, “the Resolution for Minimum Wages and Minimum Sick Leave Payable to Hotel Workers” ensures that hotel workers in Long Beach’s biggest hotels earn a minimum of about $2,000 per month. By raising minimum wage for hospitality workers, Measure N will boost the local economy and, by giving workers paid sick days, it will protect the health of workers and the community.