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City Council Tentatively Approves Wage Increase For LA Hotel Workers

LOS ANGELES ( — The City Council Wednesday tentatively approved a large wage hike for Los Angeles hotel workers.

In a 12-3 vote, the council voted to approve the hike that would require big hotels to pay all workers a minimum of $15.37 per hour, according to City News Service.

Because the vote was not unanimous, the issue will be revisited on Oct. 1, for a final vote, according to the wire service.

Following the vote, Los Angeles City Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell said the following in a statement issued by afternoon, "My heart voted with the hotel workers, most of them women who are struggling to balance a job and family just to afford to pay rent. I am not naive to the fact that there will be trade offs, including the possibility of some job loss, however this will help lift many out of poverty."

The potentially historic wage increase, however, is not supported by everyone as a number of hotel owners worry about the financial impact it could trigger. A number of business groups expect that the increase may force hotels to cut back their work force and scare away hotel developers from Los Angeles.

Meanwhile, labor unions behind the increase say it could help pull some hotel workers' families out of poverty while a number of hotel owners worry about the financial impact it could trigger.

"The hospitality industry is one of the few industries that came out of the recession and has been seeing record profit," Raise LA Coalition's Rachel Torres said. "But unfortunately, hotel workers have been living below poverty."

The increase is more than $2 above Mayor Eric Garcetti's minimum wage increase proposal of $13.25 per hour.

The hotel employee proposal will affect hotels with 125 rooms or more in Los Angeles.

The law could go into effect as soon as July 2015.

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