Irvine Voters Stand by Hotel Housekeepers; Reject Half-Million Dollar Referendum To Block Pro-Woman Law
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.
Housekeepers fought to pass the bill in 2022, which provides:
- 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.