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Hotel workers sing of la Wendy (Greuel) and $15 an hour wages

A campaign mailer sponsored in part by the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor implies that Wendy Greuel's election as mayor is key to raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. The mailer does not clarify that the wage proposal is only for hotel workers.
(Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images)

The union representing hotel workers in Los Angeles has been out in force campaigning for Wendy Greuel for mayor. In large part that’s because union leaders said Greuel told them she supports their proposal to impose a $15-an-hour minimum wage at big hotels in the city.

To fire up their workers, and voters, about the wage plan, United Here, Local 11, composed a mariachi-style song that it played over the weekend from a pickup equipped with loudspeakers.

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Union officials translated the Spanish lyrics into English. Here’s a portion of the words:

“If for la Wendy you want to vote

Get in the car and let’s have fun.

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And for la Wendy to win

All Latinos got to have her back.

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If you want to earn $15 an hour

You have to march for la Wendy.

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If the blond comes to your door

Open the door and let her in.

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Wendy, la Wendy we’re gonna vote.

$15 an hour we’ll make.

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Wendy, la Wendy we’re gonna dance.

Eric Garcetti start crying.

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From Montecito to Huntington Park

Passing El Sereno, eating tamales

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And the voters for you will fight.

We’ll have extra money to spend.

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The people will support you.

That’s why the blond will triumph.

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In the truck we’ll celebrate

With the mariachis we’ll sing

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Her last name is difficult to sing

That’s why we’re writing this rhyme.

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La Wendy, Los Angeles you will change

And the Latino vote will crown you.”

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Greuel has been less than crystal clear about her position on the $15 wage. She equivocated when asked about it on Saturday. After The Times reported this to union leaders, Greuel’s spokeswoman emailed that “Wendy supports living wage for hotel workers at $15.”

The hotel workers union is trying to expand higher wage benefits from 13 hotels near Los Angeles International Airport to a total of more than 80 hotels (with more than 100 rooms each) around the city.

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The Chamber of Commerce and other business leaders have said they do not support the proposal.

The union argues that the hotel business is thriving and that workers have trouble paying basic living expenses on salaries that still average only about $10.50 an hour. They hope to get the City Council to approve the “Raise L.A.” wage of $15 and then have the law signed by the new mayor.

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FULL COVERAGE: L.A.'s race for mayor

Greuel’s rival, City Councilman Eric Garcetti, has said he supports living wage enhancements, like the one for airport-area hotels, where workers now make a minimum of roughly $12 an hour. But Garcetti said he is not ready to commit to a specific minimum pay for hotel workers in the rest of the city.

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Twitter: @latimesrainey

james.rainey@latimes.com


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