Hearing on raising Providence hotel workers min. wage packed wit - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Hearing on raising Providence hotel workers min. wage packed with people

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By: Samantha Lavien
Twitter: @samanthalavien

Providence City Council chambers were overflowing Tuesday night, packed with people wanting to voice their opinions about raising hotel workers minimum wage.

"I myself am a single mother trying to raise my 7-year-old son and we just need a livable wage," said Adrienne Jones who has worked in the hotel industry for 6 years.

Current and former hotel workers and community activists have joined forces to push for the city to force hotels in the capital city to pay workers at least $15 an hour. The council has 70 days to consider the proposed ordinance that was submitted with over 1000 signatures.

"If there's one very important fact that I would like to deliver to the City Council it's that if the wages are increased it would give workers an opportunity to become more successful and be able to provide for themselves and their families," said Krystle Martin a former hotel worker in Providence.

The public comment period did get rowdy at times, with the crowd loudly cheering and booing.

Those who oppose raising the minimum wage say it would have significant negative ramifications for the city's hotel industry.

"Enacting this ordinance would add additional costs to running the hotels and because the costs will be increased the hotels will be forced to increase their room rates, increase their costs for food, the prices for banquets. All of this would lead to less business," said Robert Brooks an attorney for the Rhode Island Hospitality Association.

No vote was taken on Tuesday. The council is scheduled to meet again next Thursday night.

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