PRESS RELEASE: 03/13/2023
Anaheim Hospitality Workers Submit Over 25K Signatures on Initiative to Guarantee Protections Against Sexual Assault and Fair Pay led by UNITE HERE Local 11
Initiative would follow lead of Irvine and other cities to mandate panic buttons and other protections for hotel housekeepers
Anaheim: Hospitality workers in Anaheim have filed signatures for the “hospitality worker bill of rights law.”
In recent years, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Santa Monica, Glendale, and West Hollywood have adopted laws guaranteeing fair pay for heavy workloads and protection against sexual assault for housekeepers who work alone in guest rooms, among other protections. Last year, Irvine became the first city in Orange County to follow suit by passing a “hotel housekeeper bill of rights” law.
The movement has now moved to Anaheim, where thousands of community and worker proponents have called for city ordinance providing the following standards at hotels and event centers:
Panic buttons with a security guard on call, mandatory training and security protocols to protect hotel housekeepers from sexual assault and threatening conduct by guests and others
Fair pay when housekeepers are assigned heavy workloads and a prohibition on mandatory overtime after 10 hours
$25.00 minimum wage for hotel housekeepers and other hotel workers with an annual increase in wage to reflect the cost of living
Protections ensuring workers are retained when new owners or operators take over their workplaces
The initiative comes as workers across the hospitality sector report that they have been forced to perform increasingly burdensome workloads without fair pay as business returns to pre-pandemic levels.
“I want Anaheim to know that all hotel workers have the right to protections and fair pay for heavy workloads,” said Irayda Torrez, a housekeeper for 33 years at Hilton Anaheim where panic buttons were not provided until 2019. “Housekeepers want to feel respected by having fair pay for our hard work and a wage that accounts for the rising cost of living.”
“The tourism industry’s workforce is tired of feeling overworked and underpaid as business returns to pre-pandemic levels,” states Ada Briceño, co-president of UNITE HERE Local 11. “Anaheim should look to Irvine as an example and adopt the housekeepers initiative to provide hotel workers with fair wages for hard work and guarantee protections for women on the job.”
Anaheim workers who run the city’s profitable tourism industry deserve dignity and respect, and all housekeepers should have basic protections in the workplace.
UNITE HERE Local 11 is a labor union representing over 32,000 hospitality workers in Southern California and Arizona who work in hotels, restaurants, universities, convention centers, and airports
Irvine, CA: The hotel industry failed to collect the number of valid signatures required to referendize the Housekeeper Bill of Rights passed in November by the Irvine City Council.
- Provide working panic buttons and other security measures like 24-hour security to protect hotel housekeepers from sexual assault and other threatening conduct.
- Reinstate automatic daily room cleaning.
- Ensure fair compensation for heavy workloads.
Led by Hyatt Hotels and the American Hotel and Lodging Association the industry spent over half a million dollars to defeat a law that would protect women from assault on the job and provide fair compensation for heavy workloads. Their efforts proved unsuccessful and voters in Irvine rejected their message and stood by Irvine’s hospitality workers.
“My coworkers and I fought hard to pass the Housekeeper Bill of Rights in Irvine, and we are glad voters believed in the will of the City Council and us when we told them what we needed,” said Maria Balderas, housekeeper at the Irvine Hilton.
“The hotel industry lied to voters to protect their bottom line. In the end, voters saw through the sham and believed women, ” said Ada Briceño, co-president UNITE HERE Local 11.
Irvine became the first city in Orange County to pass increased protections for housekeepers. California cities such as Long Beach, Santa Monica, West Hollywood, Glendale and Los Angeles have similar ordinances.
Law would provide fair compensation for heavy workloads and protections from sexual assault
Irvine, CA: Irvine housekeepers made history tonight, when the Irvine City Council voted 3-1 in favor of passing the Irvine Hotel Worker Protection Ordinance that would provide fair compensation for burdensome workload and protections from sexual assault.
The Irvine Hotel Worker Protection Ordinance will also:
1. Provide working panic buttons and other security measures like 24-hour security to protect hotel housekeepers from sexual assault and other threatening conduct.
2. Reinstate automatic daily room cleaning.
3. Ensure fair compensation for heavy workloads.
“History was made in Orange County today, the Irvine City Council chose to stand with women against abuse by passing the law to provide fair compensation for burdensome workloads and protections from assault.” said Ada Briceño, co-president UNITE HERE Local 11. “Housekeepers are the backbone of this city, and this law will ensure more of them are treated with dignity and respect.”
Irvine will be the first city in Orange County to enact such protections. California cities such as Long Beach, Santa Monica, West Hollywood, Glendale and Los Angeles have already passed similar ordinances.
“The added measures of this new law make me feel protected and heard by our city leaders.” said Evelyn Martinez, Irvine Hilton housekeeper of 13 years.
“Thanks to the Irvine City Council for voting to stand with housekeepers like me across Irvine,” said Diana Nufio, Housekeeper at Irvine Hilton for 10 years. “The bravery of my coworkers and I has not gone unnoticed.”
UNITE HERE Local 11 is a labor union representing more than 32,000 hospitality workers in Southern California and Arizona that work in hotels, restaurants, universities, convention centers and airports.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 24, 2021
Food workers at Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Orange County airports win significant raises and improved job security
Airport food workers with UNITE HERE Local 11 voted to ratify new contracts with HMS Host Thursday at Los Angeles International, Phoenix Sky Harbor International, and John Wayne Orange County airports.
All three two-year agreements lift workers at the bottom of the payscale to livable wages and establish stronger job security and anti-discrimination protections.
“I love my job and what I do, but the money I’ve been making hasn’t been enough to live on,” said Evelyn Torres, an LAX lounge attendant. “I voted yes to go on strike if we had to, and I’m so proud that now we have a new agreement and we’re getting the raises we actually deserve.”
Workers in Phoenix won an agreement that dramatically improves health insurance cost-sharing for employees—a critical point for many who were on strike for 10 days during the peak of Thanksgiving travel last month.
“The health insurance alone will be life-changing for me and my family,” said Lucia Salinas, a cook at Cowboy Ciao at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. “After fighting for a contract for about four years, I can finally breathe a sigh of relief that we have what we need and deserve.”
“The pandemic, being unemployed, years of going without—it’s been hard. But we’ve kept fighting to get through it. Knowing what we’ve won shows that it was all worth it,” said Reyna Gonzalez, a cook for HMS Host at John Wayne Airport in Orange County.
HMS Host is the single largest concessionaire at LAX, Sky Harbor, and John Wayne airports—employing nearly 1300 workers at dozens of restaurants and all on-airport Starbucks stores. HMS Host workers also staff the American Airlines Admirals Club and American Eagle lounges at LAX.