Long Beach hotel to lay off all workers a week before new minimum wage law takes effect
A week before a new minimum wage for Long Beach hotels goes into effect, a large, marina-area hotel has told all of its employees — 75 people — that they will be laid off, according to union representatives.
But in a confrontation with union activists at the hotel Friday, a man who identified himself as the manager of the 175-room Best Western Golden Sails denied that the ballot measure triggered the cuts, saying bad economic conditions were to blame.
When he walked away, the protesters followed him through the hotel chanting "Si se puede."
In a letter to employees posted at the hotel Monday, the Best Western said it planned to downsize and reopen under new management. While the letter said some employees would eventually be rehired, it said all employees would be without a job effective Saturday and eligible for $1,000 severance packages.
"All employees will be considered terminated after their last shift of duty on or before December 15, 2012," reads the letter signed by Matthew Daniel, general manager.
Representatives from Best Western International declined to comment, saying each Best Western hotel is independently owned and operated.
The Best Western is at least the second hotel to scale back following voter approval of a local measure requiring hotels with 100 or more rooms to pay their employees at least $13 an hour.
Earlier this month, the 140-room Hotel Current told employees it was scaling back to 99 rooms, putting it just beneath the threshold for the mandated wage increase. That change ...