CHATEAU MARMONT

In March 2020, the famed Chateau Marmont fired virtually its entire workforce.  Workers who dedicated decades of their lives to the hotel were left without job security or affordable healthcare in the middle of the pandemic.  Many of the Chateau Marmont’s workers have since spoken out about abuses they experienced working at the hotel, including disrespect, mistreatment, and a racially stratified workplace.  The Chateau Marmont’s workers also successfully organized to win a path-breaking city law to ensure that hospitality workers can to return to their jobs as the crisis subsides.

Stand with the workers, sign the petition.

BuzzFeed News: The Hospitality Industry Is Bouncing Back After A Year Of Devastation, But Will Its Workers Ever Recover?

BuzzFeed News: The Hospitality Industry Is Bouncing Back After A Year Of Devastation, But Will Its Workers Ever Recover?

For two decades, Keisha Banks had worked on and off in the hospitality industry — until last year, when she was unceremoniously let go from her job as an event server at the Chateau Marmont via a mass email sent in March 2020 to employees of the iconic Hollywood hotel.

“When you work at Chateau, one of the things they say is, ‘We’re all like family here,’” Banks said. “And then to get this really blunt, ‘You’re cut off’ email was bad.”

It was the first in a streak of unfortunate events that has upended her life and the lives of many others like her.

Read more by Clarissa-Jan Lim on BuzzFeedNews.com

PRESS RELEASE: California Democrats Endorse Growing Boycott of Chateau Marmont Hotel

California Democrats Endorse Growing Boycott of Chateau Marmont Hotel

The state party acts following second racial discrimination lawsuit filed by a Black former worker

Los Angeles, CA: The California Democratic Party endorsed the highly publicized boycott of the Chateau Marmont in a resolution passed Sunday at the party’s convention.

“I am so proud of our state’s Democratic leadership,” said Ada Briceño, chair of the Orange County Democratic Party and co-president of UNITE HERE Local 11. “Mistreatment in the workplace directly conflicts with our Party’s values, and we will not stand for it. The California Democratic Party will continue to lead by taking bold stances on issues that directly impact working families.”

Earlier last week, a second former worker filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against the Chateau Marmont alleging a racially hostile work environment. April Blackwell, a Black woman, alleged she experienced unsafe working conditions while on overnight shifts at the Chateau Marmont. This January, former events server Thomasina Gross filed a lawsuit against the hotel alleging she also experienced race discrimination and sexual harassment while working at the hotel.

The California Democratic Party has a history of supporting workers who drive the state’s massive and lucrative tourism industry. At its 2019 convention, the party endorsed the boycott of the Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes, which is ongoing. Two weeks ago, Governor Gavin Newsom signed the first statewide law in the nation granting a right to return to work for people laid off from jobs in hospitality, one of the sectors hit hardest by COVID-19 lockdowns.

“Hospitality workers like those fired from Chateau Marmont are the backbone of our state’s economy. Their willingness to come forward and speak out takes real courage and we are proud to stand in solidarity with them,” said Rusty Hicks, Chair of the California Democratic Party.

“For too long, corporations have gotten rich at the expense of Black and Brown workers. Many of them are immigrant women of color like Martha Moran who for 33 years cleaned the rooms of the rich and famous that stayed at LA’s Chateau Marmont. It’s time that we hold greedy employers like Chateau Marmont accountable ” said Betty Yee, Vice-Chair of the California Democratic Party.

“When the Chateau Marmont fired me, I turned around and went to Arizona to knock on doors for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris because I saw how much this country needed a change. Political power can and should build up working people, and the California Democratic Party proved that again today,” said Jordan Mueck, who worked at Chateau Marmont as an events server for over 2 years.

It has been over a year since the Chateau Marmont fired more than 200 of its workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving workers who had dedicated decades of their lives to the hotel without job security or company-provided healthcare. Since then, many of the hotel’s workers have spoken out about their experiences working at the hotel, prompting concern from community leaders and the call for a boycott until the hotel demonstrates a commitment to respecting workers years of service by rehiring them in accordance with their legal rights and ensuring that all workers—regardless of their race, sex, or background—feel treated with dignity and respect.

Former Worker Files Race Discrimination and Workplace Safety Lawsuit Against Chateau Marmont 

PRESS CONTACT:  For lawsuit questions – Lauren Teukolsky | Lauren@teuklaw.com| 323-573-2378

UNITE HERE Local 11 – Maria Hernandez | mhernandez@unitehere11.org | 623-340-8047

Former Worker Files Race Discrimination and Workplace Safety Lawsuit Against Chateau Marmont

The lawsuit, the second this year against the famed hotel, comes days after Aaron Sorkin pulled filming of “Being the Ricardos” from the property, honoring a growing boycott

Los Angeles, CA:  Following a weekend of protests drawing attention to the growing boycott at the Oscars-season hot spot Chateau Marmont, another Black worker has filed a lawsuit against the Chateau Marmont alleging race discrimination.

“This is the second race discrimination lawsuit filed against the Chateau Marmont by a Black woman in the span of four months.  This suggests that these were not isolated incidents, but instead part of a larger pattern or practice of discrimination at the Chateau,”stated Lauren Teukolsky, an attorney who represents Ms. Blackwell, as well as another worker who has filed suit against the hotel, Thomasina Gross. 

April Blackwell, a Black woman, alleges in her lawsuit that she experienced a racially hostile work environment and unsafe working conditions at the Chateau.  Her lawsuit alleges that, as the only overnight front desk agent working in the Chateau’s drug and alcohol-fueled “anything goes” environment, she was subjected to racist and sexist harassment by guests while performing her job.  Ms. Blackwell alleges that when she reported abusive and threatening guest conduct to managers, they took little corrective action. In December 2019, the hotel disciplined and terminated her after a particularly egregious episode of guest harassment.

“I know that people who are not Black have not had to go through the things we have had to go through as Black people and Black workers. That is why I am here today: because I want accountability. I want Chateau to understand that they did things they should not have done. I want Chateau to understand that it’s not acceptable to let their workers be harassed and threatened by guests,” said plaintiff April Blackwell, who worked at Chateau Marmont as an overnight front desk agent.

In January, former events server Thomasina Gross filed a lawsuit against the hotel alleging that she also experienced race discrimination and sexual harassment while working at the hotel.

The latest lawsuit comes several days after Oscar-nominated director Aaron Sorkin honored workers’ call for a boycott of the Chateau Marmont by pulling the production of Being the Ricardos from the hotel.

A growing number of celebrities have endorsed the boycott, including Jane Fonda, Alfonso Cuarón, Martin Sheen, Tom Morello, Edie Falco, Lena Headey, Constance Zimmer, Nikki Bilderback, Thomas Sadoski, Joshua Oppenhimer, Eliza Dushku, Amanda Seyfried, Christopher Abbott, Sarah Silverman, Daveed Diggs, and Alison Pill. Organizations such as SAG-AFTRA have also voiced their support for the workers.

“Black leaders and organizers have forced all of us to confront and fight to end our society’s systemic racism. The hotel industry profits from racist employment practices. Hotels employ few Black workers.  And when they do, Black workers often work in out of sight positions such as PBX operators or overnight auditors who do their work in a closet behind the front desk,” said Kurt Petersen, Co-President of UNITE HERE Local 11.

Chateau Marmont workers have asked the public to boycott the hotel until it demonstrates a commitment to respecting their years of service by rehiring them in accordance with their legal rights and to ensuring that all workers—regardless of their race, sex, or background—feel treated with dignity and respect.

“What April Blackwell has described having to endure working overnight at this hotel shocks the conscience.  It has no place in our community.  It has no place in 2021.  It is about time we put an end, once and for all, to this kind of outrageous treatment of workers.” said Reverend Kelvin Sauls, Clergy for Black Lives.

It has been over a year since the Chateau Marmont fired more than 200 of its workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving workers who had dedicated decades of their lives to the hotel without job security or company-provided healthcare. Since then, many of the hotel’s workers have spoken out about their experiences working at the hotel, prompting concern from community leaders and the call for a boycott.

April Blackwell is represented in her lawsuit by Lauren Teukolsky of Teukolsky Law, APC, Jeremy Blasi, and Zoe Tucker.

Adiós Chateau Marmont

Hollywood is the oxygen that feeds the Chateau and its owner, Adre Balazs. But Hollywood stands with the fired workers, and has left the Chateau Marmont. They heard about this fight and they said: “ADIOS CHATEAU MARMONT!”

BOYCOTT CHATEAU MARMONT

It has been over a year since the Chateau Marmont fired more than 200 of its workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving workers who had dedicated decades of their lives to the hotel without job security or company-provided healthcare. Since then, many of the hotel’s workers have spoken out about their experiences working at the hotel, prompting concern from community leaders and the call for a boycott.

Fired Chateau Marmont Workers Call Attention to Hotel Boycott with Red Carpet Protest Outside the Chateau Marmont

As Hollywood Prepares for Oscar Weekend, Fired Chateau Marmont Workers Call Attention to Hotel Boycott with Red Carpet Protest Outside the Awards Show After-Party Hotspo

Protest Comes A Day After Academy Award Nominated Film Director Aaron Sorkin Pulls Film Project from Chateau In Solidarity with Workers 

Los Angeles, CA: As Oscar weekend begins, over a hundred protestors–including laid off Chateau Marmont workers– gathered outside the awards show after-party hotspot to call attention to the snowballing boycott at the hotel. 

The action came a day after Oscar-Nominated Director Aaron Sorkin pulled filming of the major production Being the Ricardos, starring Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem, from the hotel due to the ongoing labor dispute, honoring the boycott at the Chateau Marmont.  

The protest had an awards show theme to celebrate the decades of service that fired Chateau Marmont workers gave to “Hollywood’s Playground” and that the workers have events planned throughout Oscar weekend calling attention to the boycott at the hotel.

“We applaud Aaron Sorkin, Martin Sheen, Amanda Seyfried and dozens of other celebrities who support the boycott of the Chateau Marmont.  It is official:  Hollywood has left the Chateau Marmont.  They are only coming back when the bartenders,servers, and room attendants return to their jobs and have a workplace free of harassment and abuse.” said Kurt Petersen, Co-President of UNITE HERE Local 11.” 

Through the highly publicized boycott of the Chateau Marmont, workers are calling on the hotel to demonstrate a commitment to respecting workers’ years of service by rehiring them in accordance with their legal rights and ensuring that all workers—regardless of their race, sex, or background—feel treated with dignity and respect. 

“I never really saw myself as a leader but when we were fired I realized I needed to fight back for myself, my coworkers and my family,” said Walter Almendarez, who worked as a bellman at the Chateau Marmont for 26 years.

 A growing number of celebrities have endorsed the workers’ call for a boycott, including Jane Fonda, Alfonso Cuarón, Martin Sheen, Tom Morello,  Edie Falco, Lena Headey, Constance Zimmer, Nikki Bilderback, Thomas Sadoski, Joshua Oppenhimer, Eliza Dushku, Amanda Seyfried, Christopher Abbott, Sarah Silverman, Daveed Diggs and Alison Pill. Organizations like SAG-AFTRA have also voiced their support for the fired workers.

It has been over a year since the Chateau Marmont fired more than 200 of its workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving workers who had dedicated decades of their lives to the hoteL without job security or company-provided healthcare. Since then, many of the hotel’s workers have spoken out about their experiences working at the hotel, prompting concern from community leaders and the call for a boycott. 

According to public records, the Chateau Marmont was approved for a $1.95 million PPP loan on February 5, 2021, and as of April 13 the loan had been disbursed but not paid in full or charged off, according to the SBA. UNITE HERE Local 11 has asked the U.S Small Business Administration to conduct an inquiry to ensure the hotel complies with Paycheck Protection Loan requirements.