Long Beach Voters Approve Measure RW


Long Beach hospitality workers will now earn the highest minimum wage in the nation

LONG BEACH, MAR. 13 — Long Beach voters approved Measure RW, guaranteeing hotel workers in the city the highest minimum wage in the nation. The measure, which will raise Long Beach hospitality workers wages to $23/hour by July 20, 2024, with an escalator to $29.50/hr by the 2028 Olympics, earned nearly 53% of the vote as of the latest ballot count update.

“The Long Beach community, once again, stood with workers in their fight for family sustaining wages,” said Grecia Lopez-Reyes, Campaign Director of Long Beach for a Just Economy. “This is a major victory for working families in Long Beach.”

The Yes on RW campaign was led by UNITE HERE Local 11, LAANE, CLUE, and the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor. Through a robust canvassing program, the campaign spoke to over 20,000 Long Beach voters, knocked on over 104,000 doors, and made 100,000 calls. It was endorsed by a broad coalition of supporters, including over 200 Long Beach small businesses and 70 community organizations. Ada Briceño, co-president of UNITE HERE Local 11, applauded voters for passing the measure. “Hotel workers proudly engaged their community to pass the highest minimum wage in the country. Long Beach is leading the way,” she said. “When workers in Long Beach do better, the whole city thrives.”

Measure RW will cover workers at Long Beach hotels with 100 rooms or more. Approximately 20 large corporate hotels and more than 2000 hotel workers will be impacted by the initiative. The push to raise wages for Long Beach hospitality workers comes as the industry is raking in record profits—while its workers are struggling to provide for their families. This wage increase ensures that hotel workers who make the tourism industry what it is, do not get pushed out further from their jobs, as the region gets ready to host the Olympics in 2028.

“Workers like me keep the industry running and profitable, but our salaries have not kept up with the cost of living,” said Camila Delgado, member of UNITE HERE Local 11 and housekeeper at the Maya Hotel in Long Beach. “With the little wages I earn, I’ve had to resort to living with multiple people in order to simply afford the rent here in Long Beach.”

The victory comes more than ten years after Measure N—or the “Long Beach Hotel Workers Initiative Ordinance”—was passed in 2013. Measure N brought hospitality workers’ wages to $13 an hour. The current minimum wage for hospitality workers is $17.55/hour.

UNITE HERE Local 11 is a labor union representing more than 32,000 hospitality workers in Southern California and Arizona that work in hotels, restaurants, universities, convention centers and airports. LAANE is an organizing and advocacy institution committed to economic, environmental, and racial justice in Los Angeles and Long Beach.