Beverly Hills, CA: The wave of hotel worker strikes grew early Thursday morning in response to hotel companies’ failure to provide an economic proposal at last week’s negotiations. Hundreds of workers across multiple properties in Beverly Hills, including the Waldorf Astoria, Beverly Hilton, and Fairmont Century Plaza, walked out on strike.
“My coworkers and I have given years of service making the beds, cooking the food and washing the dishes of those who visit Beverly Hills, yet we cannot afford to provide for our families. I am on strike because we deserve our fair share,” said Lucero Ramirez, housekeeper at the Waldorf Astoria.
Two issues dominated negotiations on Thursday, September 21st. First, hotel workers demanded an end to violence against striking workers. Strikers at the Fairmont Miramar as well as the Maya Long Beach and Laguna Cliffs Marriott have been the subject of violent assaults by guests and security personnel. More recently, the JW Marriott LA Live summoned the LAPD against picketing workers and their supporters who were detained and cited for using drums during a peaceful demonstration. The employers refused to acknowledge the violence, much less commit to ending it.
Second, dozens of workers spoke about their inability to pay for their housing and their commitment to continue fighting until they win a wage that allows them to live in the city where they work. The Union then made a new economic proposal. After a more than three-hour caucus, despite enjoying record revenues the hotels returned without a counter proposal.
Hotel workers across the region have walked out beginning the Fourth of July weekend. They are demanding wages to help keep up with the rising cost of housing, better pension plans to retire with dignity, humane workloads and affordable family healthcare. Workers have called for a boycott of hotels across Los Angeles until the companies put an end to the violence and agree to a contract with living wages.