Los Angeles, CA: A week before her Eras Tour hits Los Angeles, dozens of hotel housekeepers published an open letter to Taylor Swift in the Los Angeles Times, asking her to support their fight for a wage that allows them to live in the city where they work. Hotels are expected to reap enormous profits from the “Swift Lift,” which has been compared to multiple consecutive Super Bowls in light of its economic benefits for the hospitality industry.
Housekeepers are asking Swift to postpone her six scheduled concerts in Los Angeles until they are paid a living wage. Earlier this week, Snoop Dogg canceled his upcoming concert at the Hollywood Bowl in solidarity with striking writers and actors.
The letter also points to some unexpected commonalities between hotel housekeepers and megastar Swift, comparing their fight against the hotel industry’s use of “junk fees”–extra charges that are tacked onto room rates that benefit companies, not workers–to Swift’s crusade against Ticketmaster adding junk fees to her fans’ concert tickets. As a staunch advocate for empowering women, Swift even shared the pages of TIME Magazine’s 2017 “Silence Breakers” issue with two hotel workers from Los Angeles who had also spoken out against sexual harassment.
Now, hotel housekeepers are asking for her support as they fight for a living wage. Hotel workers have reported having to sleep in their cars between shifts. Many struggle to stay housed. This plight is shared by thousands of hotel workers across 43 hotels in the L.A. area who have gone on strike in the past month for living wages, healthcare and a pension. So far, only the Westin Bonaventure has reached a tentative agreement with the Union to pay a living wage that will enable workers to afford to live in the city where they work.
The Federal Reserve has reported that Swift’s Eras Tour has significantly boosted the hospitality industry in nearly every city she has performed in, raising hotel room rates by orders of magnitude. Currently, Swift is set to perform at SoFi Stadium on August 3, 4, 5, 7, 8 and 9.The ongoing hotel worker labor unrest in Los Angeles has caused groups such as the Democratic Governors Association, the Japanese American Citizens League, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and Vanderpump Rules to cancel their events.