Anaheim, CA: Hundreds of room attendants, cooks, dishwashers, bellmen and other hotel classifications walked out on strike at the Hilton Anaheim this morning. The walkout comes as the JAMZ Bid Challenge 2023 Cheerleading Competition is taking place.
Included in their contract demands since early July are humane staffing levels, wages that keep up with the rising cost of housing, better pension, and affordable healthcare.
Hilton workers hope to inform the public about the severe understaffing levels and burdensome workloads they have faced since the pandemic. Hotels across the region, including the Hilton Anaheim, eliminated automatic daily room cleaning and as a result workloads have worsened. Additionally, hotels have refused to bring back enough staff since the pandemic, leaving hotel workers forced to sometimes do the work of two or three people.
Elizabeth Galindo, housekeeper of six years at the Hilton Anaheim said “I am striking because I rush from room to room trying to keep up with the heavy workload of dusting, making the beds, vacuuming and washing, so I can give our paying guests the best service possible. The hotel has made it extremely difficult because since the pandemic, they have failed to bring back enough staff.”
While most hotels operated by large chains have remained opposed in response to workers’ demands for living wages, there have been some breakthroughs. Most recently, the Loews Hollywood Hotel and the Laguna Cliffs Marriott reached tentative agreements with their respective workers, making them the third and fourth hotels to do so, following the lead of the Biltmore Los Angeles and Westin Bonaventure.
“The hotel owners continue to take advantage of the pandemic,” said Kurt Petersen, Co-President of UNITE HERE Local 11. “The billions in pandemic relief that they got wasn’t enough. They made the jobs harder when they eliminated daily room cleaning, and they have failed to staff the hotels at pre-pandemic levels, forcing more work onto fewer people. Their greed knows no bounds.”