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New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council Urges Passage of Living Wage Bill

December 13, 2011
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Says City Council Legislation Sets Reasonable Standards for Developers and Companies

New York, NY—The New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council (NYHTC), AFL-CIO, which represents 30,000 hotel workers, today urged the New York City Council to pass The Fair Wages for New Yorkers Act, popular living wage legislation supported by the vast majority of New York City residents.

“The debate on this legislation has run its course, and the time has come to raise wages for jobs in taxpayer-subsidized projects,” said Peter Ward, President of NYHTC. “City government should recognize the value of investing scarce public dollars more wisely in order to strengthen our economy and lift more New Yorkers out of poverty. When government incentivizes a higher-wage economy, everyone benefits. The evidence and data are crystal clear on that point. The moment for action has arrived.”

“Decent wages for jobs at subsidized projects are increasingly the norm in the hotel and retail industries, following the enactment in many cities of living wage laws that cover economic development,” Ward continued. “Many developers who request substantial subsidies to build new hotels and commercial retail properties know they can attract companies that will pay decent wages. The Fair Wages for New Yorkers Act sets reasonable standards that a variety of developers and companies already meet.”

“Too often the interests of the business community and working people are viewed as irreconcilable, but the premise of this legislation is that smarter investment in economic development can help reconcile them. When government invests in the success of developers and companies that want to be here, it must also invest in the success of our workforce, our communities, and our neighborhoods. The Fair Wages for New Yorkers Act strikes exactly the right balance between these critical priorities.”

“The city’s existing living wage law, passed in 2002 to cover healthcare contracts, has been very effective. It has balanced the needs of industry leaders with the needs of workers on the frontlines. There is no reason to think a living wage law for economic development would be any different.”

About The New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council, AFL-CIO (NYHTC)
The New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council, AFL-CIO (NYHTC) is the union of hotel workers in New York City Our union represents approximately 30,000 non-managerial employees working in all hotel departments, including: housekeeping, public space, dining room, banquet, room service, kitchen, stewarding, bar, mini-bar, audio-visual, front desk, reservations, PBX, bell and door services, concierge, night auditing, laundry, valet, engineering, maintenance, electrical, carpentry, painting, upholstery, business centers, night cleaning, health spas, security, garage, purchasing and receiving, and storeroom. For more information, visit www.nyhtc.org