We Can Do Better! Proposed Rimland Hotel Project in Ithaca

The City of Ithaca will soon be deciding whether or not to sell 2,140 square feet of land to Long Island developer, Jeffrey Rimland. Rimland is proposing a 102-room hotel on the eastern end of The Commons in Ithaca, right next to the Rothschild’s building on a spot that is currently a parking lot.

The Workers’ Center has been working to assure that the sale of land to Rimland be contingent on all employees of the proposed high-end hotel be paid a Living Wage (presently $9.83/hr. or $11.18/hr without health insurance) and that such wage be indexed to Alternatives Federal Credit Union’s Living Wage standards that are updated every two years.

At this point, Rimland has promised that all housekeepers would be paid $11.18/hr. (or 156% of NY’s minimum wage, presently $7.15/hr.) However, he will not commit to the rest of the hotel staff receiving this wage and is not agreeing to index the wages to Alternatives Living Wage figures which will be rising in spring ’09.

The sale of the land was approved by the Ithaca Urban Renewal Agency in late February ’08 and now moves to Ithaca’s City Council:

* The Council’s Planning and Economic Development Committee will first hear the issue on Wednesday, March 19th, at 7:30 p.m. in Council Chambers, 3rd Floor of City Hall, 108 E. Green Street, Ithaca. If it moves through this Committee it will then go to:

* A full City Council vote on Wednesday, April 2nd, at 7 p.m. also in Council Chambers

The Workers’ Center believes that the City of Ithaca can ask for more from Rimland. We can do better! Hotel workers are amongst the hardest workers in our City and society and deserve a Living Wage. We are asking people to come to one of the above meetings to express their opinion.

In addition, we’d like to ask you to consider sending an email to Members of Ithaca’s Common Council as well as the Mayor expressing your point of view. We ask that only residents of Tompkins County perform this action. It would be most helpful if you personalized your response.

Go to http://www.unionvoice.org/campaign/rimlandhotelproject to take action on this issue by sending emails to all of Ithaca’s Council People, as well as Mayor.