On Thursday, the American Hotel & Lodging Association and the Asian American Hotel Owners Association
appealed the district court’s ruling denying their motion for a preliminary injunction to prevent the Los Angeles Hotel Workers Act from going into effect on July 1. The wage ordinance raises the minimum wage to $15.37 at large non-union hotels.
AH&LA and AAHOA sued the City of Los Angeles over the Hotel Workers Act in December 2014. In January, the two associations filed a preliminary injunction against the city as part of its complaint, and their motion was denied on May 15. Their renewed attempt comes on the heels of the Los Angeles City Council approving a city-wide wage increase to $15 per hour by 2020.
“We were compelled to take this step in order to protect our member hotels from suffering irreparable harm before the court has the opportunity to fully consider the legality of the Hotel Workers Act,” AH&LA President and CEO Katherine Lugar said in a statement. “We continue to believe the evidence will show that the Act improperly disrupts the balance of economic power between labor and management. This imbalance creates unprecedented bargaining leverage for labor, violating the National Labor Relations Act.”
Lugar reiterated that the association’s opposition to the Hotel Workers Act is focused not on the increased wages it provides but rather how it disrupts federal labor law. “Union efforts, in recent weeks, to insert an opt-out provision for unionized workplaces into the citywide wage ordinance further demonstrate that labor is not focused on wages for its members, but rather is planning on using this opportunity ‘as a weapon to pressure companies to unionize,'” she said, quoting a newspaper op/ed.