On May 15th, The New Orleans Hospitality Workers Committee shook up the Tourism & Marketing Corporation Board meeting. The Tourism & Marketing Corporation Board is an unelected board controlled by the biggest tourist companies. They get $140 million in hotel tax money without any public say in how its used. This tax money completely bypasses the City’s general budget without the people’s consent.
Wearing bright red t-shirts, 60 members stood while several representatives of the Committee gave statements demanding that the Tourism Corporation return our stolen taxes by building a FREE FULL-SERVICE MEDICAL CLINIC for hospitality workers. A few days later Council people Williams, Banks and Palmer held a press conference with the Corporation and the Convention Center stating that they agree this needs to be done.
This is a great victory for the Committee and, more importantly, for the 88,000 hospitality workers who generate $7.5 billion dollars but see little of it returned to us. Committee member Pintos said “this came about through workers organizing ourselves, and we know we will have to keep organizing to hold the Council to their words and make the clinic a reality. We urge all our fellow workers to get involved in organizing with the Committee.”
We are also fighting for a city ordinance for better scheduling and paid sick-days and will be urging the Council to take this up.