Today’s Los Angeles Times features front-page coverage of the Raise LA campaign, a new effort to improve the standard of living for workers employed by L.A.’s larger hotels. James Rainey’s piece, which appeared online late yesterday (as did a story on Raise LA by Nancy Cohen in The New Republic), noted that while a relatively small number of L.A. hotel workers enjoy the protections and benefits of union membership, most of the city’s hotel housekeepers, busboys and maintenance workers are mired in jobs that pay little more than California’s minimum wage of $8 per hour. Raise LA aims to create an hourly minimum wage of $15.37 for employees who work at hotels with of 100 rooms or more.
In 2012 Long Beach voters passed a similar law for its hotel workers, increasing their minimum wage to $13 an hour.
Check out this handy collection of American Prospect stories on the state of labor and the labor movement in the U.S. The anthology, The Good Fight, can be browsed online or downloaded for offline reading.
It features pieces by Robert Kuttner, Tracy McMillan, Josh Eidelson and Harold Meyerson — including Meyerson’s recent profile of the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy, “L.A. Story.”
Perfect reading for this Labor Day weekend!
Bestselling novelist Lisa See’s Los Angeles roots go back five generations – the Chinese branch of her biracial family has been involved in 100 years of Chinatown’s history. See, the author of Dreams of Joy and Shanghai Girls, will be the keynote speaker at the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy’s annual Women for a New Los Angeles Luncheon on May 10. She spoke to Frying Pan News about women writers, Walmart and changes in L.A.
Frying Pan News: Your family’s been here longer than most.
Lisa See: We are part of a continuum of women and men who came here and continue to come here. And it’s not only men who come to a place, as pioneers or for a new job. A great-great aunt came here in 1915 from Colorado, opened a millinery shop and caught TB. My great-great grandmother and her husband came West to Waterville,
With the rejection of Mitt Romney’s economic vision, wherein the invisible hand of the free market guides us to prosperity (at least those not in the lazy 47 percent), progressives are now on the spot to offer up a compelling alternative.
Using animation and the vocal talents of Ed Asner, the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE) jumps into the ring with the short video “It’s in Our Hands.” This is no ten-point plan, but instead a conceptual piece whose primary assertion is that we start to take the idea of democracy much more seriously when it comes to the economic order of things.
What if we could shape the U.S. economy to reflect the values and interests of most Americans? LAANE, which has had some success in doing just that, maintains that we can — and must.
Few American economists want anything to do with social movements. Then there’s Robert Pollin, who has embraced his role as a progressive with a prolific output of books, studies and articles that make the economic case for greater equality.
Pollin, who will be honored at the L.A. Alliance for a New Economy’s (LAANE) City of Justice Awards Dinner next month, rose to prominence in the late 1990s as the most ardent academic defender of living wage laws. In recent years he has advanced the case for a new green economy based on good jobs and environmentally sensible policies.
Pollin, a professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts – Amherst and co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute, may be left of center but he is no business-bashing liberal. To the contrary, he learned from his father – the late Abe Pollin,