BREAKING NEWS: 11/17/2021
UNITE HERE Local 11 Response to Los Angeles 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games Agreement
Los Angeles: For almost six months, the City of Los Angeles has refused to disclose a single clause of the 2028 Games Agreement. Now that the Agreement has been released following a lawsuit from advocates, the absence of public input is all too obvious. The Olympics tourism infrastructure boom can transform the lives of L.A.’s working families, but the Games Agreement, as drafted, fails to take into account some of the most urgent issues our City is facing today:
1.) The Agreement’s proposed “Local Hire Program” and workforce development goals would do very little to ensure the quality of the jobs that will be required to carry out the Games. The proposals are devoid of any concrete commitments to workplace standards; its vague gestures to “diversity” and “opportunity” fall far short of a commitment to good, family-sustaining jobs.
2.) The Games Agreement ignores the underrepresentation and occupational segregation of Black workers within the accommodation and food service jobs that the Games will create. Although the document vaguely gestures to “diversity,” there are no concrete commitments to hire and retain Black workers within the Games.
3.) Despite the fact that Los Angeles is in the midst of an unprecedented housing crisis, the Games Agreement does not mention the word “housing.” It includes no protections against the displacement and increasing unaffordability that have been linked to recent Olympic Games.
It is essential for any governing document of this massive event to prioritize the well-being of low-income Angelenos–the workers who will be delivering the services needed for the Games and who could be forced further out of affordable housing by the development brought on by the Games. Without directly confronting these pressing realities, any Games Agreement the City enters into is a betrayal of the City’s hardest-working and poorest residents.
The Los Angeles City Council must delay the vote on the Olympic Games Agreement until the public has had ample opportunity to weigh in on an agreement that has thus far been shrouded in secrecy. Planning for an event of this scale requires transparency and meaningful input from community groups and working people. If City Council refuses to put affirmative protections in place, Los Angeles risks the same lasting harms that other Olympic host cities have suffered.
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, stadiums, sport arenas, convention centers, and airports.