PRESS INQUIRIES

For Press Inquiries:
Maria Hernandez, Communications
(623) 340-8047 (mobile)
mhernandez {at} unitehere11 {dot} org

For Arizona Press Inquiries:
Rachele Smith, Communications
(623) 670-9889 (mobile)
rsmith {at} unitehere11 {dot} org

Some of the following press releases have been shortened and edited to avoid redundancy.

Workers Report Increases of COVID-19 Cases at LA Hotels as Industry Continues to Reopen

Workers Report Increases of COVID-19 Cases at LA Hotels as Industry Continues to Reopen

Los Angeles, CA: On Wednesday dozens of hotel workers protested for Los Angeles County to pause reopening of hotels to tourists.

The demonstration drew attention to the surge of workers who since returning to work have tested positive for COVID-19, experienced COVID-19 symptoms, or have quarantined because of contact with guests or co-workers who tested positive for COVID-19.

“UNITE HERE Local 11 has learned of at least 85 hotel workers and guests who have either tested positive or have undergone quarantine since the reopening of the hotel sector to tourists and leisure guests on June 12th. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors needs to put the health and safety of workers and guests first,” said Kurt Petersen, Co-President of UNITE HERE Local 11.

The union believes the true number of people who have contracted the virus or who should have quarantined due their potential exposure is significantly higher, since workers are fearful to report their symptoms or diagnoses and hotels have failed to adequately trace guests and workers who have had contact with COVID-19-positive individuals.

During the protest, workers also raised concerns that hotels have failed to inform guests when a worker or fellow guest has tested positive or has been forced to quarantine.

“I am very concerned that when my hotel opens, I will put myself and my family at risk, I have my son, elderly brother, and grand-daughter living with me. They are my everything. I am scared to go back to work,” said Luz Rizo, a housekeeper at the W West Beverly Hills for nearly 20 years.

Earlier this month, a survey conducted UNITE HERE Local 11  with nearly 2,300 hotel workers found that 75 % of hotel workers do not believe hotels are ready to open.  The union has sent a letter to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors expressing alarm about the rushed timeline of the sector’s reopening.

Labor and Clergy Leaders Hold Car Caravan to Protest Slaying of Andres Guardado

Labor and Clergy Leaders Hold Car Caravan to Protest Slaying of Andres Guardado

Call for independent investigation into Guardado’s death

Los Angeles, CA: Dozens of UNITE HERE Local 11 members and clergy stood in solidarity with fellow union member Cristobal Guardado, whose son Andres Guardado was killed by the L.A County Sheriff’s Department.

Andres Guardado, 18, was killed by Los Angeles Sheriffs on June 18th at 6 pm while at work in Gardena, CA.

Andres is the son of Cristobal Guardado, a hardworking cook and loyal member of UNITE HERE Local 11 for over 14 years. To cover for the family’s financial hardship during the pandemic, Andres had taken a second job. He was killed as he was starting his shift.

“It is very difficult for me to be with you here because I feel devastated. I thank all my union brothers and sisters and those who are here fighting for my son. All I want is for there to be justice for my son,” said Cristobal

Guardado, father of Andres Guardado and member of UNITE HERE Local 11.

UNITE HERE Local 11 is a union in Los Angeles that fights for immigrant rights and represents thousands of hospitality workers across the city. Most recently, they secured a right to recall for hospitality workers after the end of the COVID-19 crisis and have joined with Black Lives Matter – LA in calling for a People’s Budget for the City of Los Angeles.

“We are deeply hurt by this tragedy. As a union that fights for justice for all people, we believe an injury to one is an injury to all. We are committed to following through until justice is served for the slaying of Andres Guardado at the hands of L.A. County Sheriffs,” said Kurt Petersen, Co-President of UNITE HERE Local 11.

UNITE HERE Local 11 joins the call for an independent investigation into Andres’ death by the Office of the Inspector General. Furthermore, the local calls on the Sheriff to release Andres Guardado’s autopsy so that justice may be served for Andres, Cristobal, and their family.