The case for voting No on Measure B

There is nothing “hospitable” about the so-called “Hospitality Ordinance,” also known as Measure B, proposed for Rancho Palos Verdes on the Nov. 5 ballot. Paid union organizers and a tightly connected arm from outside the area gathered 3,000 signatures for a City Ballot, under seemingly false pretenses (i.e. implementing panic buttons, which are already in place), after the union refused to allow a fair vote of the employees to join. It is both unnecessary and unfair to the employees, the businesses and to the taxpayer.

Our City is not against unions; we have a public employees union in RPV, and we certainly agree that hospitality workers need to work in a safe environment. RPV is a comparatively small city to the other locations where the ‘Unite Here’ union operates, which include New York, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Long Beach. Our bedroom community already places strong demands of its funds on public safety, infrastructure, and now fire prevention, to name a few. For a small city to muster the resources needed to monitor the demands on a private business that are presented by this outside union is excessive and overreaching, at best.

The employees at Terranea reportedly do not want Measure B because they were denied the fundamental right to vote on whether or not to join a Union, which will have critical effects on their livelihood. All overtime is voluntary.   I have heard from employees who are concerned about losing that overtime, which would be limited under the Measure, and instead, forced to pay union dues. Think about the impact that can have on hotel workers. If the Measure passes, those who currently depend on overtime hours to further their lives would suffer.

It is important to restate that Terranea employees already have Panic Buttons and are being paid more than $15 per hour. These seem to be the biggest issues that Measure B is claiming to address.

This legislation places unnecessary and costly restrictions on Terranea. In addition, and perhaps most egregious, Terranea would have to provide free transportation for all 1,200 workers to get both to and from work (setting a new precedent to impose on businesses in our area). Our city government would be responsible for its enforcement. Overreach? You bet.

The City Council and all five candidates are opposed to Measure B because it’s unnecessary, it’s bad for business and bad for the taxpayer (ie: the City). RPV has always been business friendly. Terranea is our largest private employer.  A decrease in business at the hotel means a decrease in the hotel room tax money that is allocated for vital public safety and infrastructure needs. Terranea’s tax payments to our city account for nearly 20% of our city’s entire budget! RPV is now the #1 highest fire risk in California. We need to utilize our resources to address this and other pressing concerns, not the errant demands of an outside group whose overreach won’t even allow a vote by the employees it supposedly aims to protect.

Please Vote “NO” on Measure “B.”

—Susan Brooks

*Brooks is currently a Rancho Palos Verdes councilmember, but is writing this message as an individual, and not as a councilmember.


The case for voting Yes on Measure B

Will Measure B mean a loss of local control?

There is nothing more local than 3,000 Rancho Palos Verdes voters signing the petition to put Measure B on the ballot.

Cities across America are adopting “panic button” ordinances so women who work in isolation can call for help.

According to a Newsweek May, 3, 2018 article: “Panic buttons are a must because ‘hospitality employees who work by themselves in guest rooms, restrooms, or in isolated locations are vulnerable to crimes and other threatening behavior, including sexual assault…’”

Hasn’t Terranea already provided panic buttons?

Terranea’s current ownership has claimed it provides panic buttons. But nothing requires future owners of Terranea to continue providing them. Laws protecting people are never left up to voluntary compliance. Nothing Terranea has done provides for any legal enforcement.

Trump National does not provided panic buttons.

Isn’t Measure B going to cost taxpayers?

Terranea had threatened the City by saying that Measure B will cost them business and that would mean less tax revenue for the City.

The fact is Measure B does not require any taxpayer funds. And only companies found to break the law are required to compensate victims.

Will Measure B benefit a Union?

UNITE HERE is a union representing hotel workers across the country. It has won panic button ordinances in many cities. Every one of those ordinances protects all women whether they work in a union or non-union hotel. Not one of those ordinances has forced any hotel to unionize. Unions are governed by federal law, not local ordinances.

Measure B is a proposal of the South Bay Women’s Project. We hope voters in Rancho Palos Verdes will support our effort.

Yes on Measure B!

—Representatives of Unite Here 11

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