FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 24, 2021
Food workers at Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Orange County airports win significant raises and improved job security
Airport food workers with UNITE HERE Local 11 voted to ratify new contracts with HMS Host Thursday at Los Angeles International, Phoenix Sky Harbor International, and John Wayne Orange County airports.
All three two-year agreements lift workers at the bottom of the payscale to livable wages and establish stronger job security and anti-discrimination protections.
“I love my job and what I do, but the money I’ve been making hasn’t been enough to live on,” said Evelyn Torres, an LAX lounge attendant. “I voted yes to go on strike if we had to, and I’m so proud that now we have a new agreement and we’re getting the raises we actually deserve.”
Workers in Phoenix won an agreement that dramatically improves health insurance cost-sharing for employees—a critical point for many who were on strike for 10 days during the peak of Thanksgiving travel last month.
“The health insurance alone will be life-changing for me and my family,” said Lucia Salinas, a cook at Cowboy Ciao at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. “After fighting for a contract for about four years, I can finally breathe a sigh of relief that we have what we need and deserve.”
“The pandemic, being unemployed, years of going without—it’s been hard. But we’ve kept fighting to get through it. Knowing what we’ve won shows that it was all worth it,” said Reyna Gonzalez, a cook for HMS Host at John Wayne Airport in Orange County.
HMS Host is the single largest concessionaire at LAX, Sky Harbor, and John Wayne airports—employing nearly 1300 workers at dozens of restaurants and all on-airport Starbucks stores. HMS Host workers also staff the American Airlines Admirals Club and American Eagle lounges at LAX.
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Lupita Ortiz has been a housekeeper at the Disneyland Hotel for over 15 years. She is also a member of Local 11’s Executive Board and a Delegate for the California Democratic Party.
Cast members plan Caravan to Capitol Wednesday, Ask Gov. Newsom to Sign AB 3216
Anaheim, CA: UNITE HERE Local 11 just learned that Disney will lay off approximately 950 of our nearly 3,000 members, effective November 1. The Union will engage in bargaining with the company over issues including job security and healthcare coverage. This highlights the urgent need for AB 3216, the California State law that guarantees recall and retention for hospitality workers. We are asking Governor Gavin Newsom to sign AB 3216 now.
Tomorrow, furloughed Disney workers will caravan to the California State Capitol to ask Governor Gavin Newsom sign AB 3216. AB 3216 would guarantee the most experienced of these workers the ability to return to their jobs when the crisis subsides. Governor Gavin Newsom has until September 30 to sign AB 3216.
The caravan comes after Disney announced it would lay off 28,000 of its cast members due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I love my job, which is why as a mom of five kids I am asking Governor Gavin Newsom sign AB 3216 to ensure that hundreds of thousands of workers like myself have the opportunity to return to their job once the pandemic is over” said Ines Guzman, furloughed housekeeper at the Disneyland Hotel for 5 years.
“Our members have given decades of their lives to companies like Disney. Now through no fault of their own, they are being laid off. We urge Governor Gavin Newson to sign AB 3216 a lifeline for hospitality workers” said Ada Briceño, Chair of the Democratic Party of Orange County and Co-President of UNITE HERE Local 11.