Los Angeles, CA: Hundreds of hotel workers at multiple properties near LAX walked out on strike this morning to protest the employers’ proposal to eliminate affordable healthcare. During contentious negotiations last Wednesday, the hotel proposed a 1% annual increase to pay for healthcare – 6 times less than the projected cost of health care increases.
The hotels’ proposal would result in massive cuts to members’ healthcare, including increased co-pays and massive changes in eligibility. Under the current plan, workers pay no more than $20 a month for family insurance and eligibility for healthcare ranges between 60 and 80 hours a month.
“We fought for decades to win exceptional healthcare for our families. Now we are fighting for a wage that allows us to live in Los Angeles,” said Yesenia Reyes, a housekeeper at the Sheraton Gateway LAX. “Our selfish employers want us to choose between staying healthy and staying housed. Meanwhile, hotel CEOs are celebrating record profits and I am balancing two full time jobs to take care of my kids.”
“Never have I seen a more punitive, draconian proposal than what these greedy hotel owners put across the table. They are asking workers to choose between a meager pay raise and excellent healthcare,” said Kurt Petersen, Co-President of UNITE HERE Local 11. “Our members who sacrificed everything to keep this industry alive during the pandemic have no choice but to walk out again.”
The Westin Bonaventure and BIltmore Los Angeles have signed agreements that guarantee a living wage and protect the workers.