More Perfect Union – Brenda Mendoza Profile



LOS ANGELES — Mayor Garcetti today was joined by UNITE HERE Local 11 to sign the Hotel Worker Protection Ordinance into law, ensuring hotel workers’ safety, fair compensation, and improvement of the general work environment.

“Hotel workers are on the frontlines of our economic recovery and their work uplifts Los Angeles and is part of what makes this city an amazing place to visit,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “I am proud to sign this ordinance into law — allowing mothers to spend more time with their children and to feel safe when walking into their place of work. Their hard work and perseverance inspires me and they deserve a fair work environment.”

This new law provides for security measures to protect hotel workers from sexual assault and threatening conduct, and fair compensation through a wage premium for heavy workloads in hotels with over 45 guest rooms. These new provisions will give hotel workers an environment in which they are allowed to thrive.

“Our City’s economy is built around the service industry and hotel workers are the City’s backbone,” said Councilmember Kevin De Leon. “Our city council embraced the legislative authority granted to us by the voters of Los Angeles to ensure that they have a safe workplace and the fair compensation that they deserve. I stand with the hard-working immigrant women and men who make up the hospitality industry in our city, and I’m proud that today Mayor Garcetti signed this ordinance into law.”

“The city’s economic recovery is only as good as that of its hospitality workers. This law will make sure that recovery is fair by providing better wages and protections for some of the workers who bore the brunt of the pandemic,” said Kurt Petersen, Co-President, UNITE HERE Local 11. “Thank you to Mayor Garcetti, Los Angeles City Council and workers who shared their stories with thousands of voters to make this possible.”

“As a hotel housekeeper it inspires me to see Mayor Garcetti sign into law the ordinance I, and hundreds of other hospitality workers spent months gathering over 100,000 signatures for,” said Isela Ramos, hotel housekeeper and member of UNITE HERE Local 11. “At a time when our rights as women and workers are under attack, this law is proof of the tangible change working people can achieve when we take action in our democracy.”

UNITE HERE Local 11 Housekeepers Submit 100k Signatures on Groundbreaking Initiative to City of Los Angeles

Initiative would follow lead of neighboring cities to mandate panic buttons and raise minimum wage for hotel workers

Los Angeles – Over one hundred housekeepers and other hospitality workers today turned in the petitions they have collected since late January to qualify their initiative for the November 2022 ballot. The initiative mirrors protections they have secured in Long Beach, Santa Monica and most recently West Hollywood.

“I am one of thousands of housekeepers in Los Angeles who will finally have panic buttons and other protections on the job”, said Martha Moran, a laid off housekeeper from the storied Chateau Marmont. “My coworkers and I deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, and to receive fair compensation for the work we do. This initiative provides those things.”

Over one hundred thousand Angelenos have signed on to the measure that provides:

  • Panic buttons and other security measures to protect hotel housekeepers from sexual assault and threatening conduct
  • Fair compensation for heavy workloads
  • Automatic daily room cleaning throughout the industry
  • Expansion of minimum wage law for hotel workers
    “My heart is always with the workers, like my mother, who worked her fingers to the bone,” said Councilman Kevin De Leon. “The hard-working immigrant women and men who make up the hospitality industry in our city are the backbone of our economy and I’m proud to stand with them today as they submit their historic initiative petition. I’m ready to work with my colleagues on the L.A. City Council to transform this initiative into law. The people have spoken, and it’s our job to listen.”

“Even though I don’t work at a hotel, I understand that raising the standards for some of the lowest paid workers in the hospitality industry will bring up standards for all of us,” said Isha Kallay, food server from the Hollywood Park and Casino. “I wanted to collect signatures for this initiative because we need to stick together in order for all of us to get ahead.”

The housekeeping measure comes in response to the hotel industry’s attempt to cut labor costs and increase workloads by eliminating daily room cleaning during the pandemic. It also provides vital protections against sexual assault for housekeepers when cleaning guest rooms alone. The workers call on the Los Angeles City Council to outright adopt the law.

“The hotel industry has wanted to get rid of daily room cleaning for years, and the pandemic gave them the perfect excuse,” notes Kurt Petersen, co-president of UNITE HERE Local 11. “Angelenos have just shown the industry, led by the Chateau Marmont, that they see through the greedy pandemic profiteering tactics and stand with the housekeepers. I am hopeful that the Los Angeles City Council will do the same and outright adopt the ordinance. Los Angeles is a leading tourist destination; that should mean good jobs for Angelenos.”

Watch the entire press conference here
View more photos here

LA Times Podcast: Hotel housekeeping is dirtier than ever

Cristina Velasquez, a housekeeper at Hilton Garden Inn in Los Angeles, says that since the pandemic started, she has had to clean three to four days’ worth of trash, dirty linens and towels in the same amount of time as before. Click here to listen to the LA TImes Podcast.