MEASURE WW BACKGROUND

 

Measure WW would create some of the most restrictive rules for hotel workers in the nation, disproportionately harm small businesses, and could potentially cost Long Beach more than $8 million/year in lost revenue.

Click below to hear from Long Beach City Council Member Suzie Price about why you should Vote No on Measure WW.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

Q1) What is Measure WW?

A2) Measure WW is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Proponents’ pleas about unsafe hotel working conditions mask an agenda to quickly impose unrealistic and self-serving work rules that will burden Long Beach taxpayers at a time the city can least afford additional expenses.

Q2) What safety measures would Measure WW impose?

A2) Measure WW would require Long Beach hotels to implement already existing safety measures and is a third attempt by union organizers to implement already rejected work rules. The Measure’s requirement for “personal notification devices” is outdated by our City Council’s ordinance mandating panic buttons for hotel workers. We have implemented the safety devices in the vast majority of Long Beach hotels and we are working on the few remaining smaller hotels to ensure 100 percent deployment by the new ordinance’s deadline.

 

Q3) What does Measure WW’s proposed workload requirement have to do with safety?

A3) Nothing. Proponents of Measure WW are using non-existent safety concerns to mislead voters and mask the true intent of this measure, which is to impose unnecessary and expensive workload requirements for their own benefit.

 

Q4) What consequences will Measure WW have on the city and the hotel industry?

A4) If passed, Measure WW will have many unknown consequences for the 14,000 Long Beach hotel workers, the city’s hospitality industry and city’s national reputation. The measure will impose work rules in the name of safety that are designed to force increased staffing and, therefore, costs. Those costs will be passed on to hotel guests and convention visitors, changing Long Beach’s reputation as a fun and economical place to visit and hurting our tourism numbers. It will also result in fewer jobs as hotels cut back on ballroom and large space usages as staff is restricted by daily square-foot cleaning limits.

 

Q5) What consequences will Measure WW have on Long Beach residents?

A5) The costs of Measure WW will be passed on to hotel guests and convention visitors, resulting in many of them choosing to stay in other surrounding cities. When visitors and groups take their business elsewhere, Long Beach hotels, restaurants and retail outlets may be forced to move or close, impacting thousands of local jobs. The overzealous work rules imposed by Measure WW will also result in taxpayers paying more.

 

Q6) Are Long Beach hotels still safe?

A6) Yes, they are. They are extremely safe and our track record shows that. There were only two onsite guest assaults out of almost 1 million guests in 2017, which is three times less than the City of Long Beach’s annual rate. We know our vigilant training and education efforts will continue to keep our hotels and our community safe for employees and guests.

 

Q7) What has the hotel industry done to address the safety concerns of its employees?

A7) The Long Beach Hospitality Alliance has made safety the highest priority for our members, employees, guests and local community, supporting our City Council’s ordinance mandating “panic buttons” for hotel workers. We continuously and proactively work with hotel and hospitality industry, law enforcement, non-profit and government leaders to educate and train our employees about key issues such as sexual harassment, human trafficking, personal safety and workplace violence.

 

Q8) What has the industry done in Long Beach recently?

A8) We continuously strengthen, update and improve our existing safety efforts, including supporting our City Council’s ordinance mandating “panic buttons” for hotel workers. Recently, we have met with the police chief, the city council’s public safety commission, formed a safety steering committee and partnered with WomenShelter of Long Beach.

 

Q9) Is the hotel community committing to full deployment of panic buttons for all employees?

A9) Yes, it was central to our support of the City’s Council’s ordinance mandating panic buttons. A majority of our hotels have purchased, deployed and trained our employees in the proper use of “personal notification devices.” We are working on the few remaining smaller hotels and expect to have 100 percent deployment for all hotels in Long Beach this year.

 

Q10) Haven’t I seen a similar measure in the past?

A10) Yes, this is the third attempt by a local labor union to pass this self-serving measure. A nearly identical measure was rejected by the City Council last year because it imposed overzealous work rules in the name of safety that are designed to force increased staffing and increased costs. The majority saw through the safety veil proponents wove and called out the imposition of square-footage work limits as disingenuous and deceitful. We hope voters will do the same when they vote this November.

 

Q11) Why does Measure WW call out the hotel industry specifically when safety and harassment is a city-wide issue?

A11) Because the proponents of this measure have ulterior and self-serving motives. Measure WW aims to single out the Long Beach hotel industry rather than address harassment throughout Long Beach as a whole. The industry’s annual assault rate is three times less than that of the city’s, which can be tied directly to the many trainings we provide to our employees, including trainings on sexual harassment, self-defense, human trafficking and workplace safety. If this Measure were truly about harassment and safety, proponents would have broadened the measure to address concerns city-wide and not just in one industry. But it is not about safety, it is about imposing onerous and unrealistic work requirements that will be beneficial only to them.


MEASURE WW NEWS

We will continually update this site as Measure WW unfolds. Please check back often for news and information.


Safety for All Hotel Workers Remains Priority Despite Passage of Measure WW Coalition of Residents, Businesses To Fight For City Leaders Without Ties to Special Interests

LONG BEACH, Ca. – (Nov. 7, 2018) – A dedicated coalition of residents, businesses and the hospitality industry vows to protect ALL hotel workers with panic buttons and root out City Council special interests despite the passage of Measure WW.

Measure WW, unfortunately, now creates a Long Beach safety divide, leaving workers at half of our city’s hotels without protection and imposes self-serving work rules that burden taxpayers at a time the city can least afford it.

“We are grateful, humbled and thankful for the commitment of the No on Measure WW team,’’ said Randy Gordon, President and CEO of the Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce. “We will continue to raise our voice to protect ALL hotel workers and to support city leaders who govern on behalf of ALL Long Beach residents not just special interests.”
Our coalition of residents and businesses remains dedicated to achieving fair treatment for all people who work in Long Beach and is focused on electing city leaders in 2020 who support this principle, uphold the duties of their office and aren’t beholding to special interests.

The City Council has voted, 5-0, for a hotel safety ordinance that does what Measure WW doesn’t – protect ALL hotel workers with panic buttons and remove the work rules that will cost the city a minimum of $8 million annually according to the city’s independent economic report. The safety ordinance is expected to be approved Nov. 13 and sent to the Mayor for his signature.

Four members of the City Council walked out immediately prior to two votes on the safety ordinance in a political stunt that appears to have violated the Long Beach Municipal Code. Council Members Lena Gonzalez, Jeannine Pearce, Roberto Uranga and Rex Richardson, who all supported Measure WW, left the Council Chambers before the ordinance vote, turning their backs on hotel workers at smaller hotels.


Four Long Beach City Council Members May Have Violated City Code When They Abandoned Posts In Support of Measure WW

LONG BEACH, Ca. – (Nov. 1, 2018) – The four Long Beach City Council Members who walked out of the Council Chamber Oct. 23 before casting votes on a hotel safety ordinance – the second time in six weeks the four abandoned their duties – may have violated a city municipal code.

Long Beach Municipal Code 2.03.050-B that was enacted in 1981 specifies that Council Members are required to cast votes “except when a conflict of interest exists and abstention is required by state law. Every member of the Council who is present when a roll is called shall vote for or against the question, unless excused by a majority of the members present, prior to the calling of the roll on such question.”

Council Members Lena Gonzalez, Jeannine Pearce, Roberto Uranga and Rex Richardson participated in Council discussions about the proposed city ordinance requiring all work-alone hotel employees to carry panic buttons. Before the vote was called, however, all four dramatically left the Council Chambers, effectively failing to perform their elected and statutory duties.

“We need council members who do their jobs,” said Randy Gordon, President and CEO of the Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce. “Casting votes is critical to how elected leaders represent voters. When they don’t, they effectively abandon their duties and abandon the trust Long Beach puts in them to fulfill their roles.”

The proposed ordinance passed, 5-0, and ensures the safety of ALL hotel workers, not just hotels with 50+ rooms as mandated by Measure WW, which has the support of the four Council Members who also abandoned their posts in September when the ordinance was first proposed. It is scheduled for a second vote Nov. 13.


Fate of Measure WW to be determined November, other hotel ordinance passed at city council meeting, Denny Cristales — Signal Tribune, October 29, 2018

Alicia Quiros was working her night shift as a hotel-room server one evening when she got a food request. As she made her way to the room and knocked on the patron’s door minutes later, a man donning only a towel answered. He urged Quiros to simply set the food on his bed and stay awhile.

“I’m thinking, ‘There’s no security at this hotel. I don’t have anyway to contact anyone. I’m completely by myself, as well, with this man,’” she said this week in a phone interview. “[…] In my head, I’m trying to calculate, if he does something to me, how am I going to escape? If I tell him ‘no,’ the guest is going to get mad, because the guest is always right. That’s how they are in the hotel industry. So, that night I took a risk and told him I wasn’t going in. I was scared, I was terrified. My heart was beating, and I didn’t know what to do.”

To read the full article, click here.


Long Beach needs leaders to show, By Randy Gordon — Long Beach Post, October 28, 2018

It’s not good governance and it’s not good for all of Long Beach to have City Council members walk out of the City Council chambers and not vote on an ordinance to provide safe working conditions.

It’s election season. Campaigns are asking Long Beach voters to make decisions about who governs us and under what conditions. Who we choose matters because the leaders we elect will have significant impact on how we live our lives, deciding how much we pay in taxes, what city services we receive and how safe our community will be.

To read the full article, click here.


Hotel Panic Button Ordinance Passes Long Beach Council Two Weeks Before Election, By Harry Saltzgaver — The Grunion, October 24, 2018 

Long Beach hotels and motels will be required to provide workers with “panic buttons” whether Measure WW passes or not on Nov. 6.

A measure spearheaded by Third District City Councilwoman Suzie Price passed Tuesday to create a law requiring hotel workers have a way to summon help should they be accosted or harassed. That’s also one component of Measure WW, at least for hotels with 50 rooms or more.

To read the full article, click here.


Long Beach City Council Gives Initial OK to Hotel Safety Ordinance That Protects All Hotel Workers without Economic Harm of Measure WW

LONG BEACH, Ca. – (Oct. 23, 2018) – A proposed city ordinance requiring all work-alone hotel employees to carry panic buttons in case of emergencies would ensure the safety of hundreds of hotel employees, while eliminating the overzealous and costly square-footage requirement of Measure WW.

The City Council voted, 5-0, Tuesday night to impose safety requirements on all hotels in Long Beach, not just the hotels with 50+ rooms that Measure WW does. The remaining four Council Members abstained from the vote. A second and final Council vote is expected in early December.

“The city’s ordinance is a major victory for the safety of hotel workers, residents and the city,” said Jeremy Harris, Senior Vice President of the Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce. “It protects the health and safety of ALL hotel employees while Measure WW only protects employees of big hotels and imposes costly workload restrictions.”

Measure WW will create some of the most restrictive rules for hotel workers in the nation, disproportionately harm small businesses, and potentially could cost Long Beach more than $8 million/year in lost revenue, according to a recent independent Long Beach Hotel Ordinance Impacts Analysis completed by the City.

“If Measure WW were truly about harassment and safety, proponents would have broadened the measure to address concerns at all hotels, not just larger ones,” said Harris. “But it is not about safety, it is about imposing onerous and unrealistic square footage work limits that will be beneficial only to those pushing the measure.”

Opponents of Measure WW are also concerned with the wide reaching fiscal and reputational consequences it will have on the area.

“Measure WW will have many unknown consequences for the 14,000 Long Beach hotel workers, the city’s hospitality industry and city’s national reputation,” Harris said. “Those costs will be passed on to hotel guests and convention visitors, which could change Long Beach’s reputation as a fun and economical place to visit, hurt our tourism numbers, shut down businesses and impact thousands of jobs.”


Long Beach moves ahead with controversial ordinance to give hotel workers panic buttons, By Hayley Munguia– Long Beach Press Telegram, October 23, 2018

The Long Beach City Council voted Tuesday, Oct. 23, to move forward with an ordinance that would require the city’s hotels to provide panic buttons to their employees.

The 5-0 decision came after a heated discussion among City Council members. Four members — Lena Gonzalez, Jeannine Pearce, Roberto Uranga and Rex Richardson — walked out of the chambers in protest just before the vote.

The item stirred debate because the council members who objected said its timing could be seen as an attempt to impact next month’s vote on the city’s Measure WW, which would require some hotels to provide panic buttons – but also add restrictions on how much housekeepers could work in a given day.

To read the full article, click here.


Long Beach Approves ‘Panic Button’ Ordinance, By Ed Brock– Asian Hospitality, October 24, 2018

In a contentious meeting, the Long Beach, California, city council on Oct. 23 took the first step toward passing a law that would require hotels in the city to provide employee safety devices or “panic buttons” to their workers.

The vote came just two weeks before city residents are set to vote on a ballot measure that would also require hotels to provide panic buttons but would include labor requirements hotel owners say would harm their business.

To read the full article, click here.


4 councilmembers walk out—again—after vote on panic buttons for hotel workers, By Kelly Puente– The Long Beach Post,  October 24, 2018

A controversial ordinance requiring panic buttons for hotel employees moved closer to law on Tuesday with the City Council voting 5-0 in favor, while four members walked out for the second time in protest.

The panic button ordinance to protect hotel housekeepers from sexual assault has been a source of contention for the nine-member council, with some members believing that its timing is a political ploy to confuse voters and prevent the passing of a similar effort called Measure WW, which appears on the Nov. 6 ballot.

Measure WW would require panic buttons in hotels with 50 rooms or more and also includes labor and workload provisions, such as limits on how much square footage a housekeeps can clean in one day. The measure has exemptions for unionized hotels.

To read the full article, click here.


Study: Measure WW To Increase Hotel Costs, Reduce City RevenueBy Pierce Nahigyan — Long Beach Business Journal, October 22, 2018

A third-party analysis of Long Beach’s Measure WW concluded that certain provisions in the measure would impose significant costs to hotels, potentially reduce tax revenue to the city and possibly negatively impact future hotel development.

Measure WW, the Hotel Workplace Requirements and Restrictions Initiative Ordinance, appears on the November 6 Long Beach ballot. If passed, the ordinance would require hotels with more than 50 rooms to implement certain safety provisions and workload restrictions for workers, and establish penalties for hotels that fail to comply.

To read the full article, click here.


This is what’s at stake when Long Beach voters weigh panic button charter amendment, By Chris Haire — Long Beach Press Telegram, October 19, 2018

A City Council ordinance that will be introduced Tuesday, Oct. 23, may take some of the bite out of a proposed charter amendment to protect hotel workers – but it has still proven controversial.

On Tuesday, Nov. 6, Long Beach voters will weigh Measure WW, which, if it passes, would require hotels with more than 50 rooms to provide panic buttons to any employee who works alone in one of those rooms. The measure would also enact certain employee rights, such as receiving sufficient paid time off to speak with police.

But beyond the safety initiatives, the measure creates workload requirements: It would cap the amount of floor space a worker could clean at 4,000 square feet in an eight-hour period — unless they get paid double-time for the entire shift, according to an impartial analysis by the City Attorney’s Office.

That cap, as well as another preventing shift lengths more than 10 hours without employee consent, has faced stark opposition from the hotel industry and led, in part, to the council last month asking the city attorney to draft an ordinance that would co-opt the panic button portion of the measure.

To read the full article, click here.


Measure WW could cost Long Beach almost $8 million/year in lost revenue

City’s independent economic report flags steep potential financial loss for flawed Measure

LONG BEACH, Ca. – (Oct. 12, 2018) – Measure WW would create the most restrictive rules for hotel workers in the nation, disproportionately harm small businesses, and could potentially cost Long Beach more than $8 million/year in lost revenue, according to the City’s independent Long Beach Hotel Ordinance Impacts Analysis.

The analysis cited multiple negative financial impacts on hotels by Measure WW, saying “the financial impact of the ordinance’s ‘humane workload’ standards will add significant operational costs to affected hotels,’’ resulting in less tax collection by the city for much-needed police, fire and other vital services.

“The costs of Measure WW truly have been hidden from voters – and now we learn it could potentially be more than $8 million in lost city revenue  – unbelievable!,” said John Howard, Chairman of the Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce. “Measure WW not only fails to protect all workers, but it will be money out of the pockets of those same workers it doesn’t protect.”

Measure WW mandates already existing safety measures and only protects a fraction of workers in Long Beach hotels, a point the analysis highlighted. A proposed City Council ordinance will protect all hotel workers for far less than Measure WW.

The analysis also said smaller hotels, those with fewer than 100 rooms, will be disproportionally harmed by Measure WW, saying they will “face more financial difficulty complying with the ordinance provisions than larger properties.”

“Measure WW gets worse for Long Beach taxpayers, voters and visitors every time we learn more about it,’’ Howard added.