The Hostility of the Hospitality Industry
Posted by Jack Stephens on June 20, 2007
The struggle of workers at Emeryville’s Woodfin Suites Hotel for a living wage and a measure of respect has taken some wild twists and turns in the last few days. I’ve written about this previously here, here, and here.
Like much of the “hospitality industry” this hotel keeps up its profit margin up by paying low wages to immigrant workers to do the dirty stuff. The city of Emeryville, collectively, said “enough already,” in 2005, and passed a living wage ordinance. The hotel unsuccessfully contested the law in court; workers brought a class action lawsuit for back pay. All of a sudden, the hotel began to question the workers’ immigration status, citing problems with their Social Security numbers.