- Workers at several hotels in Southern California walked off the job Thursday in a third wave of walkouts amid the region’s largest multihotel strike in history, hospitality union Unite Here Local 11 announced.
- Cooks, room attendants, dishwashers, servers, bellmen and front desk agents have walked out of another batch of hotels, including 1 Hotel West Hollywood, DoubleTree San Pedro, Laguna Cliffs Marriott, ALoft El Segundo Los Angeles Airport, Fairfield Inn & Suites Los Angeles LAX, Hilton Pasadena, Hyatt Place Pasadena, W Hollywood and Hilton Glendale.
- Earlier this month, members of hospitality union Unite Here Local 11 — which represents more than 30,000 workers in Southern California and Arizona — participated in two waves of strikes, both of which lasted for under a week. The union paused activity to resume bargaining earlier this week, but vowed to strike again after no deal was reached. The union did not disclose how long this wave of strikes could last.
Though Unite Here Local 11 and the Coordinated Bargaining Group — which represents 44 Los Angeles and Orange County hotels — met at the bargaining table earlier this week, tensions remain high, with union co-president Kurt Petersen describing the CBG’s latest proposal as not offering “a penny more” in wages.
“Just when you thought it was not possible, the hotels hit a new low in greed and cruelty. Their last proposal would make Ebenezer Scrooge envious,” Petersen said.
In contrast, the CBG said it did offer improved wages. In a release, the group said Unite Here rejected its offer to boost wages by $2 an hour after its wage proposal’s ratification and another $1 per hour in 2024. The group previously accused Unite Here Local 11 of bringing unfair labor charges and bargaining in bad faith.
Neither party responded to Hotel Dive’s requests for further details on bargaining.
Meanwhile, labor strife continues to affect hotels in the region. Several groups — including the BUILD Initiative, the Democratic Governors Association, the Japanese American Citizens League, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the TV show “Vanderpump Rules” — have canceled events or conferences that were scheduled to take place at Los Angeles-area hotels.
And earlier this week, Unite Here Local 11’s bargaining committee sent a letter to the American Political Science Association requesting that the organization cancel its annual meeting, scheduled to take place later this month at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The event is expected to draw more than 6,000 political science professors to the city.
Unite Here Local 11 has found support from other labor unions currently active in the region. Striking members of Writers Guild of America West joined Unite Here-represented workers outside the Fairmont Miramar last week to picket, and hotel workers are currently planning a march from W Hollywood to Netflix’s headquarters alongside striking actors and writers, according to a Unite Here announcement.
Hotel workers are demanding pay increases to counter the rising cost of living in Southern California. Striking worker Morena Hernandez, a housekeeper at the Hyatt Andaz, said in Unite Here’s release: “If [the hotels] really valued our work, they would pay us what we needed to be able to live near where we work. Instead they insult us with their proposals.”
According to a Unite Here Local 11 survey conducted ahead of its strike authorization vote, 53% of workers said that they either have moved in the past five years or will move in the near future due to housing costs. The union continues to seek an immediate wage raise, healthcare benefits, pensions and safer workloads, as well as a hospitality workforce housing fund that would help those in financial need. So far, it has only reached a deal with one hotel, the Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites.
In neighboring Santa Monica this week, Unite Here-represented workers filed an initiative that, if approved, would create the highest minimum wage in the nation: $30 per hour for hotel workers.