Santa Monica, CA: UNITE HERE Local 11 and Le Merigot Santa Monica reached a tentative agreement after months of negotiations, making it the first hotel in Santa Monica to do so during a citywide hotel sector labor dispute that has been marked by contentious strikes and picket lines. Le Merigot Santa Monica is the fifth hotel in the broader Los Angeles area to sign an agreement in this round of contract negotiations.
“I am thrilled about our new contract and what it will mean for me and my family”, said Maria Espinoza, a Laundry Attendant of 19 years at Le Merigot Santa Monica. “ I am pleased that we are the first workers in Santa Monica to reach an agreement, paving the way for our sisters and brothers at the other hotels in our city to do the same. My co-workers and I stuck together, and we won!”
Once the contract is ratified, the workers at Le Merigot Santa Monica will secure::
- Unprecedented wage increases that keep pace with the soaring cost of housing in Southern California
- Affordable, excellent family healthcare
- Humane workloads and safe staffing
- Improved pension increases so that workers can retire with dignity
- Numerous improvements, including historic Equal Justice language that, among other things, will provide access to union jobs for formerly incarcerated individuals and strong immigration protections.
Le Merigot Santa Monica, the Loews Hollywood, Biltmore Los Angeles, and the Westin Bonaventure have emerged as leaders in providing fair wages and benefits for its workers and superior service for guests. At the same time, the Le Meridien Delfina has been caught using unhoused migrants to break the strikes at their hotels.
“We value our staff tremendously, which this agreement reflects,” said Jessica Rincon, General Manager, Le Merigot Santa Monica. “And we are proud that we reached this agreement while maintaining a positive relationship with our employees. We look forward to providing the level of service that our discerning clientele expect.”
“We are pleased to announce our settlement at Le Merigot Marriott Santa Monica,” said Kurt Petersen, Co-President of UNITE HERE Local 11. “We have now won standard-setting contracts in Downtown LA, Hollywood, Orange County, and Santa Monica. There are no excuses for the rest. Workers deserve to share in the prosperity of the tourism industry.”
PRESS RELEASE: 01/05/2022
UNITE HERE Local 11 Wins Historic First Union Contract at JW Marriott Le Merigot Santa Monica Hotel
Amid Surging Pandemic Room attendants will earn $25 an hour and enjoy free family health insurance
Santa Monica, CA.: Ending one of the longest-running and highest profile labor disputes in Santa Monica history, UNITE HERE Local 11 and its members have reached a historic agreement with JW Marriott Le Merigot Santa Monica Hotel.
The agreement achieves our union scale among all other Unite Here Local 11 hotels in Santa Monica by June 2023.
– Minimum wages of $25 an hour by the expiration of the contract
– Free excellent family health insurance
– Defined Benefit Pension Plan enabling workers retire in dignity
– Job security protections
“Hats off to Stockdale Capital for being a responsible employer and for embracing Santa Monica’s values of community and justice. Thank you to the heroes of this struggle: the courageous room attendants who never lost faith, fought every day against a nefarious Columbia Sussex, and won an extraordinary union agreement,” said Kurt Petersen, Co-President of UNITE HERE Local 11.
“This contract is life changing. This is the first time, after working for 10 years in the hotel industry, that I had a seat at the table to fight for the wages and benefits we deserved. None of these changes would have been possible without the union,” said Ismelda Reyes, laundry attendant who has worked for 10 years at Le Merigot Santa Monica Hotel.
The labor standards provided under UNITE HERE Local 11’s collective bargaining agreements far exceeds those provided by the few remaining non-union Santa Monica hotels, such as The Shore, Casa Del Mar and Shutters.
Background: Housekeeping employees at the hotel won a union election in 2016. Columbia Sussex, the then-owners and managers of the hotel, fought the unionization effort, leading to a contentious and bitter labor dispute that dragged on for more than five years.
During this period, the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board found evidence to support more than 11 unfair labor practice charges against Columbia Sussex alleging violations of federal labor law. To settle these claims, hotel management agreed to pay over $35,000 in bonuses the company withheld from workers in 2016, rescind seven disciplines issued to employees, and offer reinstatement to a worker who was fired. In 2021, workers also won thousands of dollars through the settlement of claims filed against the company with the California Labor Commissioner.