THE LA HOUSEKEEPER INITIATIVE
The LA Housekeeper Initiative comes in response to the hotel industry’s attempt to cut labor costs and increase workloads by eliminating daily room cleaning during the pandemic. It also provides vital protections against sexual assault for housekeepers when cleaning guest rooms alone. On June 21, 2022, the Los Angeles City Council Voted to Adopt the Hotel Worker Protection Ordinance. #SíSePudo
Irvine, CA: The hotel industry failed to collect the number of valid signatures required to referendize the Housekeeper Bill of Rights passed in November by the Irvine City Council.
- Provide working panic buttons and other security measures like 24-hour security to protect hotel housekeepers from sexual assault and other threatening conduct.
- Reinstate automatic daily room cleaning.
- Ensure fair compensation for heavy workloads.
Led by Hyatt Hotels and the American Hotel and Lodging Association the industry spent over half a million dollars to defeat a law that would protect women from assault on the job and provide fair compensation for heavy workloads. Their efforts proved unsuccessful and voters in Irvine rejected their message and stood by Irvine’s hospitality workers.
“My coworkers and I fought hard to pass the Housekeeper Bill of Rights in Irvine, and we are glad voters believed in the will of the City Council and us when we told them what we needed,” said Maria Balderas, housekeeper at the Irvine Hilton.
“The hotel industry lied to voters to protect their bottom line. In the end, voters saw through the sham and believed women, ” said Ada Briceño, co-president UNITE HERE Local 11.
Irvine became the first city in Orange County to pass increased protections for housekeepers. California cities such as Long Beach, Santa Monica, West Hollywood, Glendale and Los Angeles have similar ordinances.
Law would provide fair compensation for heavy workloads and protections from sexual assault
Irvine, CA: Irvine housekeepers made history tonight, when the Irvine City Council voted 3-1 in favor of passing the Irvine Hotel Worker Protection Ordinance that would provide fair compensation for burdensome workload and protections from sexual assault.
The Irvine Hotel Worker Protection Ordinance will also:
1. Provide working panic buttons and other security measures like 24-hour security to protect hotel housekeepers from sexual assault and other threatening conduct.
2. Reinstate automatic daily room cleaning.
3. Ensure fair compensation for heavy workloads.
“History was made in Orange County today, the Irvine City Council chose to stand with women against abuse by passing the law to provide fair compensation for burdensome workloads and protections from assault.” said Ada Briceño, co-president UNITE HERE Local 11. “Housekeepers are the backbone of this city, and this law will ensure more of them are treated with dignity and respect.”
Irvine will be the first city in Orange County to enact such protections. California cities such as Long Beach, Santa Monica, West Hollywood, Glendale and Los Angeles have already passed similar ordinances.
“The added measures of this new law make me feel protected and heard by our city leaders.” said Evelyn Martinez, Irvine Hilton housekeeper of 13 years.
“Thanks to the Irvine City Council for voting to stand with housekeepers like me across Irvine,” said Diana Nufio, Housekeeper at Irvine Hilton for 10 years. “The bravery of my coworkers and I has not gone unnoticed.”
UNITE HERE Local 11 is a labor union representing more than 32,000 hospitality workers in Southern California and Arizona that work in hotels, restaurants, universities, convention centers and airports.
MAYOR GARCETTI SIGNS HOTEL WORKER PROTECTION ORDINANCE
LOS ANGELES — Mayor Garcetti today was joined by UNITE HERE Local 11 to sign the Hotel Worker Protection Ordinance into law, ensuring hotel workers’ safety, fair compensation, and improvement of the general work environment.
“Hotel workers are on the frontlines of our economic recovery and their work uplifts Los Angeles and is part of what makes this city an amazing place to visit,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “I am proud to sign this ordinance into law — allowing mothers to spend more time with their children and to feel safe when walking into their place of work. Their hard work and perseverance inspires me and they deserve a fair work environment.”
This new law provides for security measures to protect hotel workers from sexual assault and threatening conduct, and fair compensation through a wage premium for heavy workloads in hotels with over 45 guest rooms. These new provisions will give hotel workers an environment in which they are allowed to thrive.
“Our City’s economy is built around the service industry and hotel workers are the City’s backbone,” said Councilmember Kevin De Leon. “Our city council embraced the legislative authority granted to us by the voters of Los Angeles to ensure that they have a safe workplace and the fair compensation that they deserve. I stand with the hard-working immigrant women and men who make up the hospitality industry in our city, and I’m proud that today Mayor Garcetti signed this ordinance into law.”
“The city’s economic recovery is only as good as that of its hospitality workers. This law will make sure that recovery is fair by providing better wages and protections for some of the workers who bore the brunt of the pandemic,” said Kurt Petersen, Co-President, UNITE HERE Local 11. “Thank you to Mayor Garcetti, Los Angeles City Council and workers who shared their stories with thousands of voters to make this possible.”
“As a hotel housekeeper it inspires me to see Mayor Garcetti sign into law the ordinance I, and hundreds of other hospitality workers spent months gathering over 100,000 signatures for,” said Isela Ramos, hotel housekeeper and member of UNITE HERE Local 11. “At a time when our rights as women and workers are under attack, this law is proof of the tangible change working people can achieve when we take action in our democracy.”
Los Angeles City Council Passes UNITE HERE Local 11’s Groundbreaking Hotel Worker Protection Ordinance
Ordinance, Now Headed to Mayor Garcetti’s Desk, Will Make Los Angeles one of the nation’s first to require daily room cleaning, panic buttons, and fair compensation for heavy workloads
The final procedural vote comes after the council voted to adopt the ordinance last week.
The law provides:
Automatic daily room cleaning throughout the industry
Panic buttons and other security measures to protect hotel housekeepers from sexual assault and threatening conduct
Fair compensation for heavy workloads
Expansion of minimum wage law for hotel workers
“We are grateful to the Los Angeles City Council for this historic victory for hospitality workers. During the pandemic hotel housekeepers were lined up at food banks while the hotel industry received billions of dollars of corporate welfare and now are enjoying record breaking profits. This law, we hope, will start to focus the economic recovery from the greed of corporations to the needs of the workers who are the backbone of the tourism industry,” said Kurt Petersen, Co-President, UNITE HERE Local 11.
While much of the law mirrors protections hotel workers have secured in Long Beach, Santa Monica, West Hollywood, and Glendale, the Los Angeles law also breaks new ground in the region by requiring automatic daily room cleaning of hotel rooms.
“This Council has consistently recognized that, for the past two and a half years, our hotel workers have provided essential services during unprecedented and uncertain times. Their sacrifices and service saved lives, and now it’s time for us to ensure that they have access to the overtime pay and safe working conditions that they deserve,” said Council President Nury Martínez.
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.