On the eve of the Fourth of July, while hotel CEOs were toasting record profits at their vacation homes in the Hamptons, in a show of incomparable strength, thousands of cooks, room attendants, dishwashers, servers, bellmen, and front desk agents walked out in the largest hotel strike in Southern California history.
The mass walkout marks just the first wave of strikes and disruption by hotel workers across the region. Workers will not rest until they are paid a wage that allows them to live in the communities where they work. We know the industry can do this – last week, Los Angeles’ biggest hotel, the Westin Bonaventure, agreed to the wages workers need. Now it is time for the other corporations to follow suit. We are grateful for the extraordinary solidarity we have received. This is just the beginning.
“We went on strike to show these companies what we were willing to do to win a fair contract. As I get ready to return to work, I am proud to be part of the first wave of strikes, leading the way for the rest of our union to follow,” said Joy Johnson, a housekeeper of 5 years at the Courtyard Marriott Downtown LA.
Arturo Hueso, a houseman of 30 years at the Fairmont Miramar – Hotel & Bungalows in Santa Monica said, “Because of my cancer, I have no choice but to fight to keep my healthcare. I am prepared to fight on the picket line, inside the hotel – whatever it takes. This is a fight for my life.”
Kurt Petersen, Co-President of UNITE HERE Local 11, says, “This walkout was the first of many actions that may come this summer by workers at hotels across Southern California, and it is only one tool in our toolbox. We have put the industry on notice that the workers have suffered enough.”