2014-10-01T224733Z_1_LYNXNPEA9022G_RTROPTP_4_USA-HOTELWORKERS-LOSANGELES-e1412257214479Out on the West Coast, the Los Angeles City Council surprised no one when it gave final approval to an increase in the minimum wage required for hotel workers to $15.37/hour.  The ordinance, which will likely be subjected to legal challenges from the hotel industry, was sent to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti for his expected approval.  Although this new minimum is only applicable to certain hotel workers in Los Angeles, Mayor Garcetti has already proposed a broad increase in the municipal minimum wage to $13.50/hour for all employees by 2017 and one could expect advocates to expand its reach (to fast food restaurants?) in short order.  The hotel increase ordinance bespeaks the true goal of many wage increase proposals – ease of unionizing private employers – in that the it exempts those hotels where workers have already collectively entered into a bargaining agreement (read: union contract) with the employer!  In several news reports, city officials have spoken to the impact the new ordinance will have on non-union hotels in Los Angeles!  The Worker Center Watch, which is a leading watchdog organization on union activities, has an excellent article here that helps clarify some of the union strategy behind the alleged “Fight for $15” and the ultimate goal of the effort.   Franklin Coley, who will be presenting at the DDIFO National Conference in a few weeks will also be speaking to the strategic and tactical approaches behind this effort.