The ballot initiative will go before voters next March, after the Los Angeles City Council voted to put it on the ballot instead of enacting the controversial ordinance. It targets the hospitality industry in a number of ways, including requiring that if a new hotel project demolishes or converts existing housing, developers build affordable housing on or near the new hotel site.

The most controversial part of the measure, however, concerns vacant hotel rooms. Hotels should report empty rooms to the city’s housing department. The city would then use prepaid vouchers to place homeless people in available rooms. Hotels would receive a “fair rate” for rooms from the city and would not have the right to refuse to admit anyone using a voucher.

Such a plan would “turn hotels into homeless shelters,” says the new ad campaign, produced by the Center for Union Facts, a longtime opponent of the labor movement. The commercials will air Tuesday and Thursday in the Los Angeles market on the “Today” and “Good Morning America” ​​shows, part of a larger six-figure campaign against the hotel workers union.

Charlyce Bozzello, group communications director, would not say whether the effort was backed by hotel developers, who are expected to vigorously oppose the initiative. She pointed out that as a non-profit group, the center does not disclose its funders and said the “Hotel Hell” campaign was “an initiative of CUF – we are handling this on our end.”

The group timed the launch of its campaign ahead of Labor Day to highlight how the move could put hotel workers, including those represented by the union, at risk.

“Unions try to celebrate their workers and the great things they have achieved. In our opinion, Local 11 has a funny way of showing it,” Bozzello said.

Kurt Petersen, co-president of Unite Here Local 11, denounced the CUF as an “anti-worker and anti-union” organisation.

“They are harmful. Nobody really knows who is funding them,” Petersen said. “They’re a bunch of right-wing psychopaths with nothing better to do than make the poor poorer. »

Petersen was not fazed by this reaction, noting that the union collected more than 126,000 signatures to qualify the measure for the ballot, far more than was required. He said he was confident voters would back him in March.

“When housing is on the ballot, it wins,” he said.

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Source : htrnews