CALLING THE DIAMONDBACKS TO DO THE RIGHT THING

BREAKING NEWS: Biltmore Los Angeles Reaches Historic Union Agreement; Strikes Continue at Beverly Hills and Other SoCal Hotels

Los Angeles, CA:  After a historic summer of strikes, UNITE HERE Local 11 and the Biltmore Los Angeles have reached a tentative agreement.  The historic Biltmore Los Angeles joins the Westin Bonaventure in achieving settlements with their workers.

“It is great to see our contribution recognized and our compensation increased. This agreement will allow us to go home and sleep a bit more securely,” said Lucy Mijangos, a housekeeper at the Biltmore Los Angeles. “I am so proud of my coworkers for sticking together and grateful for the hotel for doing the right thing. We are committed to making sure every hotel worker wins the same agreement.”

Once the contract is ratified, the 300 workers at the Biltmore Los Angeles will enjoy:

  • 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 ban the use of  E-Verify in hiring.
  • The Biltmore Los Angeles and the Westin Bonaventure, two of the largest hotels in the city, have emerged as  leaders in providing fair wages and benefits for its workers and superior service for guests.

At the same time, dozens of other hotels, including those with far higher room rates such as the JW Marriott and Ritz Carlton LA Live, Beverly Hilton, Fairmont Miramar, and Anaheim Hilton, continue to refuse to provide a living wage.

“We are very pleased to have come to an agreement with UNITE HERE Local 11 on behalf of our loyal and dedicated employees. We can now focus together on looking after our guests and providing the level of service our guests have come to expect from the Biltmore Los Angeles,” said Jimmy Wu, General Manager of the Biltmore Los Angeles.

“We applaud the Biltmore Los Angeles for putting their workers and our city first,” said Kurt Petersen, Co-President of UNITE HERE Local 11. “LA is the world’s most important tourist destination, with the World Cup and Olympics coming back to back in 2026 and 2028.  This agreement takes steps to ensure that workers who work in LA will be able to live in LA.”

BREAKING NEWS: Beverly Hills Hotel Workers Join Santa Monica on Strike Strikes Grow Following Hotels’ Failure to Increase Wage Offer

Beverly Hills, CA:  The wave of hotel worker strikes grew early Thursday morning in response to hotel companies’ failure to provide an economic proposal at last week’s negotiations. Hundreds of workers across multiple properties in Beverly Hills, including the Waldorf Astoria, Beverly Hilton, and Fairmont Century Plaza, walked out on strike.

“My coworkers and I have given years of service making the beds, cooking the food and washing the dishes of those who visit Beverly Hills, yet we cannot afford to provide for our families. I am on strike because we deserve our fair share,” said Lucero Ramirez, housekeeper at the Waldorf Astoria.

Two issues dominated negotiations on Thursday, September 21st.  First, hotel workers demanded an end to violence against striking workers.  Strikers at the Fairmont Miramar as well as the Maya Long Beach and Laguna Cliffs Marriott have been the subject of violent assaults by guests and security personnel.  More recently, the JW Marriott LA Live summoned the LAPD against picketing workers and their supporters who were detained and cited for using drums during a peaceful demonstration. The employers refused to acknowledge the violence, much less commit to ending it.

Second, dozens of workers spoke about their inability to pay for their housing and their commitment to continue fighting until they win a wage that allows them to live in the city where they work.  The Union then made a new economic proposal.  After a more than three-hour caucus, despite enjoying record revenues the hotels returned without a counter proposal.

Hotel workers across the region have walked out beginning the Fourth of July weekend. They are demanding wages to help keep up with the rising cost of housing, better pension plans to retire with dignity, humane workloads and affordable family healthcare. Workers have called for a boycott of hotels across Los Angeles until the companies put an end to the violence and agree to a contract with living wages.

BREAKING NEWS: Strikes Continue Following Hotels’ Failure to Increase Wage Offer;  Walkouts Mark 100th Strike in Historic Fight 

Santa Monica, CA:  A new wave of worker strikes began early Monday morning in response to hotel companies’ failure to provide an economic proposal at last Thursday’s negotiations.  The wave will start in Santa Monica hotels, including the Fairmont Miramar (101 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401).  With these walkouts, hotel workers have struck more than 100 times in the largest hotel strike in U.S. history.

Two issues dominated negotiations on Thursday, September 21st.  First, hotel workers demanded an end to violence against striking workers.  Strikers at the Fairmont Miramar as well as the Maya Long Beach and Laguna Cliffs Marriott have been the subject of violent assaults by guests and security personnel.  More recently, the JW Marriott LA Live summoned the LAPD against picketing workers and their supporters who were detained and cited for using drums during a peaceful demonstration. The employers refused to acknowledge the violence, much less commit to ending it.

Second, dozens of workers spoke about their inability to pay for their housing and their commitment to continue fighting until they win a wage that allows them to live in the city where they work.  The Union then made a new economic proposal.  After a more than three-hour caucus, the hotel company representatives returned without any counter proposal.

“I still have pain on my arms and knees from when security guards pushed me on the pavement.” said German Martinez, a dishwasher of 34 years at the Fairmont Miramar. “It was disrespectful to see our employer not even address or apologize to us, and instead come back with no offer. We will do what we have to do until we get the fair contract we deserve.”

Hotel workers across the region representing 15,000 workers walked out beginning the Fourth of July weekend. They are demanding wages to help keep up with the rising cost of housing, better pension plans to retire with dignity, humane workloads and affordable family healthcare. Workers have called for a boycott of hotels across Los Angeles until the companies put an end to the violence and agree to a contract with living wages.

RELEASE: Long Beach City Council Votes to Put $25 Initiative on 2024 Ballot, Hospitality Workers Rally In Favor

Long Beach, CA: Over a hundred hospitality workers, Long Beach community leaders, and their allies testified and attended the Long Beach City Council meeting on Tuesday in favor of putting an initiative on the 2024 ballot that would put the city on a pathway to raise the wage for hospitality workers to $25 per hour.

The council voted unanimously to direct city staff to draft the policy that would go on the March 2024 ballot.

Yadira Aguilar, a housekeeper at the Hyatt Centric said “As a single mother, a better wage would mean  I could better provide for my family. I pay $1,900 in rent and also take care of my sick mother in Mexico. It is hospitality workers like myself who make Long Beach run. Thank you to the council for hearing our voices.”

Ada Briceño, co-president of UNITE HERE Local 11 said, “During the pandemic, our members lost their livelihoods overnight and since then the tourism industry has bounced back with the help of billions in PPP loans. Hotels are now near maximum capacity, and making record profits. Thank you to the Long Beach City Council for voting to put hospitality workers and their families first.”

Grecia Lopez-Reyez, Director for Long Beach for a Just Economy said. “A ballot measure is an opportunity for voters to decide to raise the wage again for hospitality workers who are the backbone of a profitable industry. When workers thrive, we all thrive.”

“Long Beach’s tourism and hospitality industry plays a pivotal role in our local economy, and workers are the backbone of the industry. While the Long Beach City Council voted to forward a ballot measure to amend the Long Beach Hotel Worker Wage Ordinance by increasing the minimum wage, voters will ultimately decide in the March 2024 municipal election. I hope voters will vote to support it.” said Long Beach Councilmember Saro.

The push to raise the wage for Long Beach hospitality workers comes as the tourism industry has seen record revenue while workers struggle to stay housed and provide for their families.

Similar initiatives are being considered in other cities in the region, including Los Angeles, Anaheim, and Santa Monica. The council is expected to come back for a final vote on October 24, 2023.

Workers at Sheraton Universal Join City-Contracted LA Grand Hotel on Strike, As SoCal Hotel Strike Grows

Workers protest hotels owned by developer recently convicted of bribery 

Los Angeles:  In the latest development in what has become the largest hotel worker strike in modern history, workers at the Sheraton Universal hotel went on an unfair labor practice strike this morning. They join workers from the LA Grand who walked out on strike yesterday.

Workers at the Sheraton Universal have filed pending federal unfair labor practice charges alleging that the hotel has retaliated against workers by disciplining or suspending approximately sixteen workers for protesting for better wages, among other allegedly unlawful conduct.

The Sheraton Universal and LA Grand are sister properties owned and operated by Shen Zhen New World LLC.  On May 12, 2023, following an 11-day trial, the company was convicted of bribery and related charges and fined $4 million for giving  benefits – including luxury trips and a sham loan – to bribe then-Los Angeles City Councilman José Huizar in a bid to obtain city approval to build a skyscraper.  According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Shen Zhen’s owner is a fugitive believed to be in China.

The LA Grand operates under a contract with the City of Los Angeles as a site for Project Roomkey, an initiative to provide temporary shelter for unhoused persons.  Workers at the hotel have raised concerns about staffing since the start of the program several years ago and have failed a pending unfair labor practice charge alleging that the hotel disciplined a worker for complaining about safety issues.  Workers have also been calling for fair wages and benefits so that they can afford to live in Los Angeles and not join the ranks of the unhoused themselves.

Hotel workers at the Sheraton Park and Anaheim Hilton next to Disneyland in Orange County are also currently on strike.

Dufry Hudson Group Concession Workers at Ontario Airport on Strike!

Ontario, CA: Employees allege that agents of the company “have unlawfully interrogated workers about union activities; surveilled union activists; and threatened to discipline and retaliate against workers should they strike with the Union” after workers unanimously voted on August 15 to authorize a strike.
“My niece was one of the employees that management threatened,” said Nida Austria, a cashier. “We deserve to be treated with respect and not threatened. We work hard, and for minimum wage. When we stand up and demand better, Dufry Hudson Group management threatens our jobs. That’s not right.”
Ontario Dufry Hudson Group airport workers join other UNITE HERE Local 11 members on strike in hotels across Los Angeles and Orange counties. Just last week, Local 11 members at Areas at LAX airport and workers at SSP America at Phoenix Sky Harbor voted overwhelmingly to authorize strikes if needed to settle their contracts as well.
“Workers have reached their breaking point,” said Susan Minato, Co-President of UNITE HERE Local 11. “The travel and tourism industry exploited the pandemic and continues to rake in profits while their workers, the ones who actually make all this possible, are left living paycheck to paycheck. And when workers stand up for their fair share, companies violate their labor rights. The industry must pay workers a living wage and treat them with the respect they deserve.”
Dufry AG is based in Switzerland and employs almost 36,000 people in over 65 countries. Hudson Group was completely purchased by Dufry in August 2020. It is one of the largest travel retailers in North America.

Labor Day Weekend: Striking Hotel Workers Celebrate Messi and Team Solidarity While More Workers go on Strike in LA and Orange County

Over the Labor Day weekend, workers across the region were shown immense solidarity. At the Fairmont Santa Monica, striking workers learned that the Inter Miami CF and Lionel Messi were slated to stay at the hotel for a game this Sunday against LAFC. Striking workers then asked Messi and the team to siupport the boycott and cancel their stay at the hotel, which was a site of violence against workers several weeks ago.

In honor of Messi and his teammates not crossing the picket line, workers threw a party outside the hotel.

Meanwhile hotel workers at the W Hollywood on strike celebrated Labor Day with drumming, picketing, chanting, and were even joined for an impromptu jam by the famed Los Jornaleros del Norte band outside the Hollywood hot spot.

The Jornaleros, together with Las Cafeteras, joined the picket line at the Pasadena Hilton where workers are on strike.

Workers at the Anaheim Hilton and Sheraton Park in Anaheim walked out and joined the strike over the weekend.

Throughout Labor Day weekend 19 hotels and concession workers at the Ontario Airport haver been on strike, fighting for wages that will keep up with the rising cost of housing.  Thousands of workers at over 46 properties have struck since July 1.

Labor Day Kickoff: LAX Workers Vote 99% to Authorize Strike

Los Angeles: Areas at LAX employs cashiers, dishwashers, cooks, bartenders, and food attendants at concessions concepts, such as Homeboy Bakery, Dunkin Donuts, Urth Cafe, California Pizza Kitchen, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, and Ford’s in all terminals, including the Tom Bradley International terminal.

“My entire family works for AREAS USA–myself, my sister, my brother, and my mom. None of us make enough money to survive,” said Cecilia Otea, barista at Urth Bar. “All of us have to work and live together to afford living in LA. I’m voting yes to strike so my entire family can have a better life.”

Workers’ collective bargaining agreement with Areas expired on June 30th, 2022. Their primary contract demands include livable wages to keep pace with the soaring cost of housing, a pension to retire with dignity, and fair staffing.

During the pandemic, airport concessionaires received over $1 billion in federal relief and cut staffing. While the industry has more than recovered, workers struggle to afford a place to live near where they work. Airport workers live as far away as Lancaster, California City, and Bakersfield.

Workers could walk out any day starting Labor Day weekend, joining thousands of hotel workers, also represented by UNITE HERE Local 11, who have engaged in a wave of strikes since the 4th of July weekend.

“Workers all over the city have reached their breaking point,” said Susan Minato, Co-President of UNITE HERE Local 11. “The travel and tourism industry exploited the pandemic and continues to rake in profits while their workers, the ones who actually make all this possible, are left living paycheck to paycheck, one emergency away from homelessness. It’s time the industry pays workers their fair share and if workers have to strike to make that happen, they will.”

DAY 3: Chaos Continues During APSA, Thousands of Hotel Workers March in DTLA To Kick Off Labor Day Weekend

Los Angeles:  On Friday, SoCal hotel strikers will march from the InterContinental Los Angeles to the JW Marriott LA Live. Hotel workers from over a dozen properties walked off the job Wednesday, marking the latest development in this massive citywide labor dispute..

The strike came as the American Political Science Association arrived in town. Last week, the workers’ call for conventions to boycott and stay away from Los Angeles marked a major escalation in the largest hotel worker strike in U.S. history. Joining the workers’ call were some APSA members, SEIU Local 99, AFSCME Local 3299, and others. Friday morning, thousands of striking workers plan to march in downtown Los Angeles beginning outside the JW Marriott L.A Live.

In addition, striking workers at the Fairmont Santa Monica learned that the Inter Miami CF and Lionel Messi are slated to stay at the hotel for a game this Sunday against LAFC. Striking workers are asking the team and Messi to honor the boycott and cancel their stay at the hotel, which has also been the center of violence against workers the last few weeks.