Letter to Laura Love

Letter to Laura Love


You’ve heard a lot about negotiations while workers are out on strike. Now that we are back to bargaining, we, the union committee, want to update you on where we agree and disagree with the company. The status of negotiations is always changing, so confirm the latest details with your committee person or organizer!


  • In talking to other workers and gathering data, the union committee has uncovered allegations of unacceptable disparities in pay along racial lines. Workers and the union have filed complaints with the EEOC and the City of Phoenix concerning these pay disparities, as well as complaints concerning alleged discrimination on the basis of age and sex, and customer harassment related race and sexual orientation.
  • To solve these problems, the union committee proposed that our new contract add stronger protections against discrimination and initiate a task force on increasing diversity.
  • The union committee also proposed a fair process for promotion that includes clearly posting and sharing open positions for 5 days to prevent “tap-on-the-shoulder” promotions.
  • The company has REJECTED all of these proposals.

Fair use of technology

  • The company has already implemented new technology that has cut into tip income of servers.
  • The company has NOT AGREED to auto-gratuity.

Retiring with dignity

  • The union committee proposed the company pay 20 cents per hour you work into the same pension fund as Local 11 HMS Host workers at LAX have.
  • The company has REJECTED this proposal

Free legal support

  • The union committee proposed the company pay 10 cents per hour you work into a legal fund that gives you free access to highly-skilled lawyers who can help resolve family custody issues, adoptions, wills, bankruptcies, and immigration cases. Learn more by visiting https://www.unitehere11.org/members/legal-fund/
  • The company has NOT AGREED to this proposal

Livable wages and fair raises

  • The company and the union committee have not agreed on wages and raises.
  • The union committee will not agree to the company’s raise proposals without also agreeing on more affordable health insurance costs.

Affordable family health insurance

  • Under the union committee’s proposal, workers would pay half of what the company proposes for health insurance in 2023.
  • This chart shows how much money the union committee’s proposal would save you by the end of 2023.

Union savings in 2022 and 2023: Gold healthcare plans including dental and vision

Single Single + spouse Single + kids Family
$574.20 $2,467.32 $1,385.88 $4,075.56

Union savings in 2022 and 2023: Silver healthcare plans including dental and vision

Single Single + spouse Single + kids Family
$495.36 $1,410.36 $1,254.12 $3,513.96

You deserve more

HMS Host’s parent company, Autogrill, is owned by Italian billionaires through a holding company called Edizione, which had a net asset value of $12.5 billion in 2020.

Have you gotten rent relief?
During the pandemic, HMS Host has received rent relief and other valuable forms of aid while it has been negotiating with the workers.

  • Here in Phoenix, HMS Host saved $4.4 million in rent to the City of Phoenix between April 2020 and July 2021
  • HMS Host’s parent company, Autogrill, stated in its 2020 financial report that it managed to reduce its rent by almost $240 million throughout the company that year.

Are you working harder than you were when the pandemic started?

  • Staffing levels right now are 37.5% lower than before the pandemic
  • As of this August, sales for HMS Host at Sky Harbor were back up to 95% of what they were in August 2019. Sales for Terminal 3 actually went up 38%.


Special information for HMS Host strikers from UNITE HERE Local 11 staff attorney Alyssa Peterson

Every worker is protected when they act with other workers to fight for better working conditions. Even when you are on strike, you have legal rights as an employee. Make sure to document what you are seeing and hearing through photos, screenshots of text messages, selfies or selfie videos and send the evidence to your organizer.

If you see or hear management doing any of the following, contact Laura Perez at (951) 255-6669, Mari Yepez at (480) 652-0650, or your committee person. These actions are unlawful, and we want to protect your rights and the rights of other workers.


  • Any threat to workers because of protected activity
    • “Protected activity” means actions you take together with your coworkers to fight for better working conditions, like a strike.
  • Threats may be implied
    • Example: “Remember Joe—he supported the union and he was fired.”
  • May be a threat of unspecified reprisal
    • Example: “You’ll get in trouble if you keep this up.”


  • Taking harmful action against a worker or group of workers because they engaged in protected activity
    • Examples of “protected activity”: a strike or other collective action for better working conditions
  • Retaliation can be formal, like demotion or transfer
  • Retaliation can also be more informal actions
    • Example: intentionally making work so intolerable that a reasonable person would quit
    • Example: enforcing rules that were not enforced before, like a crackdown on absenteeism after an organizing drive starts


  • Trying to find out information when a worker is involved in organizing
    • Examples: “Do you support the strike?” “Are you coming in to work today or supporting the strikers?” “How do you feel about the union?”


  • Granting benefits in an attempt to discourage support for the union
    • Example: the boss announces $2 dollar increases in hourly salary in the middle of a strike
  • Soliciting grievances from workers
    • Example: the manager pulls a worker aside and asks, “How has work been going? Do you have any concerns about how things are run around here?”


  • Spying on striking workers or listening in on conversations between workers
  • It is also unlawful to create the impression of surveillance
    • Example: “I know who went to the union meeting last night.”

Unilateral Changes

  • Before changing terms & conditions of employment, management must give notice and opportunity to bargain to the union before they implement the policy.
  • Employers can’t implement policy changes that would affect a group of workers without talking to the union, for example:
    • Changes to pay rate (including overtime and tips)
    • Hours of employment
    • New technology
    • Job duties
    • Benefits (healthcare, retirement, vacation)
    • Work rules (meal benefits, break times, uniforms)
    • Bonuses or incentives

Not sure if management’s actions are wrong?
Tell an organizer!

Advisory: LAX Food Workers to Stage Day-Long Protest on Busiest Travel Day of the Year

Citing vote Tuesday in key City Council subcommittee, airport workers say they’re still struggling to stay healthy and housed while employers take advantage of pandemic relief

LAX workers will dedicate Wednesday’s all-day demonstration in solidarity with striking airport concessions workers in Phoenix who are also members of Local 11

Tuesday, the Los Angeles City Council subcommittee on Trade and Tourism, chaired by Councilmember Joe Buscaino (District 15), voted on a third round of rent relief for LAX concessions companies. Concessionaires have already received 15 months of rent relief and two-year lease extensions meant to allow them to make extra money as business recovers. None of the relief was passed through to essential airport workers in any direct way, despite many being laid off. 

As of September 2021, LAX domestic passenger traffic had returned to 74% of September 2019 levels.

Meanwhile, fellow union airport concessions workers in Phoenix have been on strike since Monday. UNITE HERE Local 11 Phoenix strikers demand a new, comprehensive contract with fair raises, affordable health insurance, a company-paid retirement contribution, protections for workers’ tips, and strong contract language for equal opportunity and protection from discrimination. 

HMS Host is the largest airport concessions company in North America and at LAX, where the company operates numerous restaurants, all on-airport Starbucks locations, and American Airlines lounges in Terminal 4 and Terminal 5.

# # #

Strike Questions & Answers

Question 1: If I am working, what do I do?
Report to the north curb of level 1 of Terminal 4 for your picket duty. If a tentative agreement is met, your Contract Committee person will notify you.

Question 2: What will be our strike benefit?
The strike benefit will be $300 for the first week with 2 extra $100 gift cards for Thanksgiving Day. The second week and all subsequent weeks will be for $400 if you picket 5 days a week for a total of 25 hours.

Question 3: How long will the strike last?
We must be prepared to strike for as long as it takes to win affordable health benefits, a pension, and keep our strong union.

Question 4: Will we be fired if we go on strike?
It is illegal under federal labor law for the company to retaliate against you for participating in a strike, picket line, or other union activity.

Question 5: How do we survive on strike pay?
We are all in this together! We are making history, not just for Phoenix, but also for the nation. We are fighting for ourselves, our families, and for future generations. We will have member support committees that deal with:

  • Food donations
  • Communication with creditors (mortgage bank, landlords, electric company, etc.)
  • Other problem solving, case work
  • We will have a Police Relations Committee to deal with coordinating picket activity with Aviation.

Question 6: How will we know about the progress of the strike?
We will have regular informational written updates on the picket line and our website. Picket Captains will give regular updates.

Question 7: How many days do I picket? How many hours a day do I picket?
Each striker will pick a five-hour shift, five days a week with two days off per week.

Question 8: Does going on strike affect my work permit or green card?

Question 9: Can we win?
We will win by demonstrating to these Wall Street-controlled companies that we have the guts to fight for our union, our families, and our future. We will win by demonstrating our fight throughout the nation, to travel agents, convention planners, tour groups, financial analysts, bondholders, stockholders, politicians, and clergy.

Together we will win!

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