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