UNITE HERE Local 11 has been a leader in the fight for immigrant rights, and to elect leaders who will represent working families’ interests. Notably, in 2020, Local 11 ran the largest single canvass in Arizona, winning the state for the pro-labor presidential and senate candidates.
In December 2020 Local 11 sent more than 300 leaders to Georgia to join a coalition to campaign for Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, winning two senate seats for the Democrats and ensuring that President Biden will have a majority in the Senate to enact policies to support working families.
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.
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Initiative would follow lead of neighboring cities to mandate panic buttons and raise minimum wage for hotel workers
Los Angeles – Over one hundred housekeepers and other hospitality workers today turned in the petitions they have collected since late January to qualify their initiative for the November 2022 ballot. The initiative mirrors protections they have secured in Long Beach, Santa Monica and most recently West Hollywood.
“I am one of thousands of housekeepers in Los Angeles who will finally have panic buttons and other protections on the job”, said Martha Moran, a laid off housekeeper from the storied Chateau Marmont. “My coworkers and I deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, and to receive fair compensation for the work we do. This initiative provides those things.”
Over one hundred thousand Angelenos have signed on to the measure that provides:
- Panic buttons and other security measures to protect hotel housekeepers from sexual assault and threatening conduct
- Fair compensation for heavy workloads
- Automatic daily room cleaning throughout the industry
- Expansion of minimum wage law for hotel workers
“My heart is always with the workers, like my mother, who worked her fingers to the bone,” said Councilman Kevin De Leon. “The hard-working immigrant women and men who make up the hospitality industry in our city are the backbone of our economy and I’m proud to stand with them today as they submit their historic initiative petition. I’m ready to work with my colleagues on the L.A. City Council to transform this initiative into law. The people have spoken, and it’s our job to listen.”
“Even though I don’t work at a hotel, I understand that raising the standards for some of the lowest paid workers in the hospitality industry will bring up standards for all of us,” said Isha Kallay, food server from the Hollywood Park and Casino. “I wanted to collect signatures for this initiative because we need to stick together in order for all of us to get ahead.”
The housekeeping measure 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. The workers call on the Los Angeles City Council to outright adopt the law.
“The hotel industry has wanted to get rid of daily room cleaning for years, and the pandemic gave them the perfect excuse,” notes Kurt Petersen, co-president of UNITE HERE Local 11. “Angelenos have just shown the industry, led by the Chateau Marmont, that they see through the greedy pandemic profiteering tactics and stand with the housekeepers. I am hopeful that the Los Angeles City Council will do the same and outright adopt the ordinance. Los Angeles is a leading tourist destination; that should mean good jobs for Angelenos.”
February 13, 2022—Super Bowl Sunday!—was officially marked as Kenny Washington Day by a motion of the LA City Council introduced by Councilmember Curren Price. Kenny Washington was the first African-American player to integrate the NFL. Two days previously, a tentative agreement was reached between concession workers and management at SoFi Stadium on their first Union contract. To celebrate both the legacy of Kenny Washington and the tentative union contract for SoFi workers, we were joined—amongst others—by civil rights legend, Reverend James Lawson. AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler, LA County Fed President Ron Herrera, LA City Councilmember Curren Price, NFL Players Association President JC Tretter, and the NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith.
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Contact: Danielle Wilson | dwilson[at]unitehere11[dot]org | 818-534-799nine
Los Angeles – UNITE HERE Local 11 is proud to endorse West Hollywood City Councilmember Lindsey Horvath for Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors District 3. She was a decisive vote in passing the highest citywide minimum wage in the country.
Horvath’s victory on the minimum wage wasn’t easy. As early as 2015, the young Councilmember led the “Fight for $15” in West Hollywood, but despite her advocacy the then-City Council did not pass her proposal. This past summer Horvath became Mayor of the city, and things started to change. Mayor Horvath fought for and won groundbreaking legislation to protect hotel housekeepers from sexual assault, give them the right to return to their jobs by seniority amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and to improve the minimum wage to make sure housekeepers are fairly compensated for heavy workloads. Just months later, Horvath was the deciding vote to pass the highest minimum wage in the country at $17.64, making West Hollywood a national leader on policy for working people.
“Lindsey exemplifies what it means to be a public servant who fights for working people,” said Kurt Petersen, Co-President of UNITE HERE Local 11. “Our members can count on her no matter what, and that’s who we need to send to the Board of Supervisors.”
“The new minimum wage in West Hollywood will change my life, the lives of hotel workers across town, and all workers,” said Sandra Pellecer, who has worked as a cook in West Hollywood hotels for 16 years. “Lindsey Horvath fought for us and I’m proud to stand with her.”
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UNITE HERE Local 11 is a labor union representing 32,000 members who work in hotels, restaurants, universities, convention centers, and airports.