Anaheim, CA: Hundreds of room attendants, cooks, dishwashers, bellmen and other hotel classifications walked out on strike at the Hilton Anaheim this morning. The walkout comes as the JAMZ Bid Challenge 2023 Cheerleading Competition is taking place.
Included in their contract demands since early July are humane staffing levels, wages that keep up with the rising cost of housing, better pension, and affordable healthcare.
Hilton workers hope to inform the public about the severe understaffing levels and burdensome workloads they have faced since the pandemic. Hotels across the region, including the Hilton Anaheim, eliminated automatic daily room cleaning and as a result workloads have worsened. Additionally, hotels have refused to bring back enough staff since the pandemic, leaving hotel workers forced to sometimes do the work of two or three people.
Elizabeth Galindo, housekeeper of six years at the Hilton Anaheim said “I am striking because I rush from room to room trying to keep up with the heavy workload of dusting, making the beds, vacuuming and washing, so I can give our paying guests the best service possible. The hotel has made it extremely difficult because since the pandemic, they have failed to bring back enough staff.”
While most hotels operated by large chains have remained opposed in response to workers’ demands for living wages, there have been some breakthroughs. Most recently, the Loews Hollywood Hotel and the Laguna Cliffs Marriott reached tentative agreements with their respective workers, making them the third and fourth hotels to do so, following the lead of the Biltmore Los Angeles and Westin Bonaventure.
“The hotel owners continue to take advantage of the pandemic,” said Kurt Petersen, Co-President of UNITE HERE Local 11. “The billions in pandemic relief that they got wasn’t enough. They made the jobs harder when they eliminated daily room cleaning, and they have failed to staff the hotels at pre-pandemic levels, forcing more work onto fewer people. Their greed knows no bounds.”
Los Angeles, CA: UNITE HERE Local 11 and the Laguna Cliffs Marriott have reached a tentative agreement on behalf of striking workers. The tentative agreement focuses on economic issues that, upon ratification, will raise wages, strengthen pensions, and increase investments in healthcare.
Laguna Cliffs Marriott and UNITE HERE Local 11 are proud to have come to an agreement that respects workers and allows staff to focus on providing the highest standard of customer service to guests.
The agreement comes as thousands of striking UNITE HERE workers from across 50 hotels took to the streets of Los Angeles to protest and organize for new contracts.
The agreement was reached in negotiations facilitated by Assembly Speaker Emeritus John A. Pérez. “This is an example of how communities benefit when labor and management come together and work towards an agreement that is mutually beneficial.”
“We are proud to announce our latest settlement agreement that meets the needs of our members in wages and benefits,” said Kurt Petersen, Co President of UNITE HERE Local 11. “We are eager to begin a new chapter at Laguna Cliffs Marriott.”
More hotel worker actions on the horizon as entertainment industry strike grows
Southern California: As labor strife consumes the region, thousands of hotel workers at 12 hotels in Los Angeles and Orange County return to work today.
The pandemic destroyed the regions’ most important industries, tourism and entertainment, as most actors, writers, and hotel workers lost their jobs overnight. Meanwhile the employers profited from the pandemic by taking billions of dollars in subsidies and forcing workers to work more for less. Workers are rising up together to demand a living wage that allows them to live in the city in which they work.
“Since reopening after the pandemic, hotels began to eliminate daily room cleaning. Our workloads have become brutal and take an even bigger toll on us,” says Rosa Paz, housekeeper for 23 years at the Hilton Anaheim. “We went on strike because we work really hard and deserve better. Through the strike workers from all the hotels are more united than ever. We are ready for anything, inside, outside, at the negotiating table, and won’t settle for less than we deserve.”
Yesenia Reyes, housekeeper at the Hyatt Regency LAX which is owned by the Southwest Carpenters Pension Trust, the pension fund of the Southwest Carpenters’ union says, “I feel more empowered now than ever to continue fighting for a good contract.” She continued, “As a single mom, I rarely get to see my six kids because I work two full time jobs to pay my $2,000 rent and keep up with other expenses.”
“Thousands of workers at 33 hotels from Downtown Los Angeles to LAX to Orange County have participated in the largest hotel worker strike in California history,” said Kurt Petersen, Co-President UNITE HERE Local 11. “Our city has reached a tipping point. The wealthy continue to live in luxury while workers, from actors and writers to room attendants and servers, live from one paycheck to the next. This fight is ultimately about whether those who make LA prosperous and beautiful will be able to afford to live in LA.”
Since reopening after the pandemic, hotels began to eliminate daily room cleaning. Our workloads have become brutal and take an even bigger toll on us. We went on strike because we work really hard and deserve better. Through the strike workers from all the hotels are more united than ever. We are ready for anything, inside, outside, at the negotiating table, and won’t settle for less than we deserve.”
Southern California: This morning, more cooks, room attendants, dishwashers, servers, bellmen, and front desk agents at multiple properties walked out on the second wave of the largest multi-hotel strike in Southern California’s history.
“I am on strike because I welcome hundreds of guests into Anaheim everyday, but I still cannot afford to retire or provide for my family, even though we know the industry is booming,” said Elizabeth Galindo, housekeeper at the Anaheim Hilton. “We are proud to join our sisters and brothers in Los Angeles on strike.”
Hotel workers across Orange County join thousands of hotel workers near LAX who walked out to demand better pay and working conditions on Monday. This marks the second wave of hotel strikes in the region this month. Workers at 21 hotels walked out 4th of July weekend in Downtown Los Angeles and Santa Monica. So far, only the Westin Bonaventure has reached an agreement with UNITE HERE Local 11 that provides a living wage and vital benefits. 60 properties, covering nearly 15,000 hotel workers, are authorized to strike at any moment.
“Hotel workers across Santa Monica, DTLA, LAX, to Beverly Hills, Anaheim, and Irvine are more united than ever to fight for a contract that allows them to live in the city where they work. Tourism is booming. The region is investing billions in infrastructure. The workers who are the backbone of this industry must have a living wage,” said Kurt Petersen, Co-President of UNITE HERE Local 11.