BREAKING NEWS: Loews Hollywood Reaches Union Agreement; Strikes Continue in Downtown LA and Other SoCal Hotels

Los Angeles, CA: After a historic summer of strikes, UNITE HERE Local 11 and Loews Hollywood have reached a tentative agreement. The Loews Hollywood joins the Westin Bonaventure and the historic Biltmore Los Angeles in signing an agreement with their workers.

“I am extremely glad we came to an agreement that helps us and the hotel move forward, Maria Camarena, housekeeper of 21 years. “My coworkers and I never gave up, and we will continue to support other hotel workers as they continue to fight for what they deserve too.”

Once the contract is ratified, the nearly 300 workers at the Loews Hollywood will enjoy:

  • Unprecedented wage increases that keep pace with the soaring cost of housing in Southern California
  • Affordable, excellent family healthcare
  • Humane workloads and safe staffing
  • Improved pension increases so that workers can retire with dignity
  • Numerous improvements, including historic Equal Justice language that, among other things, will provide access to union jobs for formerly incarcerated individuals and ban the use of E-Verify in hiring.

The Loews Hollywood, Biltmore Los Angeles, and the Westin Bonaventure have emerged as leaders in providing fair wages and benefits for its workers and superior service for guests. At the same time, dozens of other hotels, including those with far higher room rates such as the JW Marriott and Ritz Carlton LA Live, Beverly Hilton, and Fairmont Miramar, continue to refuse to provide a living wage.

 “Our team members are at the core of what makes Loews the company it is,” said Vincent Piro, Managing Director, Loews Hollywood Hotel. “We are thrilled to be in agreement with our partners at UNITE HERE Local 11 and look forward to continuing to deliver exceptional experiences for our guests, fellow team members and neighbors.”

“We are pleased to announce our settlement with the Loews Hollywood,” said Kurt Petersen, Co-President of UNITE HERE Local 11. “Three of the biggest LA hotels  – including the largest in downtown and Hollywood – have decided to put their workers and our city first.  It is time for the rest of the industry to share their prosperity with their workers. ”

PRESS RELEASE; CA Labor Commissioner Issues $4.8 Million Citation to Hyatt Regency Long Beach for Failing to Rehire Laid Off Workers

Long Beach, CA –  The California Labor Commissioner’s Office issued a citation Monday totalling $4.8 million to the Hyatt Regency Long Beach, alleging that the hotel failed to recall, or to timely recall, workers to their former positions in violation of state law. The citation is the largest citation known to have been issued against a hotel company in state history.

Signed into law in 2021, SB-93 requires hotels, event centers, and other hospitality businesses to offer employees whom they laid off due the COVID-19 downturn in tourism an opportunity to return to work in open positions for which they are qualified in order of seniority. The law, recently extended until  December 31, 2024,  provides job protection to some 700,000 laid-off housekeepers, cooks, waiters, and others across the state. 

Rigoberto Villagrana, who was laid off by the Hyatt Regency after working at the hotel since 1996, said, “Being laid off during the pandemic has been devastating for me and my family. We’ve struggled to pay our mortgage and keep food on the table. I am really glad to see the state stepping in to make sure Hyatt Regency complies with the law.”

The Labor Commissioner’s Office, which is led by Labor Commissioner Lilia Garcia-Brower, conducted an investigation in response to complaints from workers alleging violations of the recall law. 

“Some of these employees had as much as 24 years of experience, and were suddenly out of work due to a public health emergency,” said Labor Commissioner Lilia Garcia-Brower. “The employer failed to offer them their old jobs back in compliance with the law.”

After investigating Hyatt Regency’s recall practices, the agency issued a citation to Hyatt Regency for $4,799,563.84 in liquidated damages and interest owed to dozens of workers and civil penalties for the hotel’s alleged failure to recall, or timely recall, workers laid-off due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Kurt Petersen, co-president of UNITE HERE Local 11, the hospitality workers’ union that fought for the law and helped the workers file complaints, said, “The Hyatt Regency in Long Beach has treated its veteran workers like they are disposable. This kind of behavior is not only immoral, but as the agency’s massive citation shows, it can also be illegal.” He continued, “I commend the Labor Commissioner for conducting such a thorough investigation and showing that our worker protection laws have real teeth.”

BREAKING NEWS: Biltmore Los Angeles Reaches Historic Union Agreement; Strikes Continue at Beverly Hills and Other SoCal Hotels

Los Angeles, CA:  After a historic summer of strikes, UNITE HERE Local 11 and the Biltmore Los Angeles have reached a tentative agreement.  The historic Biltmore Los Angeles joins the Westin Bonaventure in achieving settlements with their workers.

“It is great to see our contribution recognized and our compensation increased. This agreement will allow us to go home and sleep a bit more securely,” said Lucy Mijangos, a housekeeper at the Biltmore Los Angeles. “I am so proud of my coworkers for sticking together and grateful for the hotel for doing the right thing. We are committed to making sure every hotel worker wins the same agreement.”

Once the contract is ratified, the 300 workers at the Biltmore Los Angeles will enjoy:

  • Unprecedented wage increases that keep pace with the soaring cost of housing in Southern California
  • Affordable, excellent family healthcare
  • Humane workloads and safe staffing
  • Improved pension increases so that workers can retire with dignity
  • Numerous improvements, including historic Equal Justice language that, among other things, will provide access to union jobs for formerly incarcerated individuals and ban the use of  E-Verify in hiring.
  • The Biltmore Los Angeles and the Westin Bonaventure, two of the largest hotels in the city, have emerged as  leaders in providing fair wages and benefits for its workers and superior service for guests.

At the same time, dozens of other hotels, including those with far higher room rates such as the JW Marriott and Ritz Carlton LA Live, Beverly Hilton, Fairmont Miramar, and Anaheim Hilton, continue to refuse to provide a living wage.

“We are very pleased to have come to an agreement with UNITE HERE Local 11 on behalf of our loyal and dedicated employees. We can now focus together on looking after our guests and providing the level of service our guests have come to expect from the Biltmore Los Angeles,” said Jimmy Wu, General Manager of the Biltmore Los Angeles.

“We applaud the Biltmore Los Angeles for putting their workers and our city first,” said Kurt Petersen, Co-President of UNITE HERE Local 11. “LA is the world’s most important tourist destination, with the World Cup and Olympics coming back to back in 2026 and 2028.  This agreement takes steps to ensure that workers who work in LA will be able to live in LA.”

THANK YOU LIONEL MESSI AND TEAMMATES

Westin Bonaventure – June 29, 8:00 AM

BREAKING NEWS: Westin Bonaventure First to Reach Deal As Historic Strike Looms for Dozens of SoCal Hotels

Los Angeles, CA: A day before contracts covering 15,000 hotel workers expire, the Westin Bonaventure hotel, Los Angeles’ largest hotel, reached a historic agreement with its workers.

“With these extraordinary raises, I will no longer have to choose between paying my rent and putting food on the table for my family,” said Nancy Cerrato, general clean public areas, housekeeping department. “We have given our lives to this industry. We deserve respect and to be able to afford to live in the city where we work.”

The Westin Bonaventure emerges as the leader in fair wages and benefits for its workers while dozens of hotels including the JW Marriott and Ritz Carlton LA Live, Beverly Hilton, Fairmont Miramar, and Anaheim Hilton continue to drag their feet after months of negotiations.

A strike could be called as early as the 4th of July weekend for the remaining hotel properties across Southern California.

Once the contract is ratified, the 600 workers at the Bonaventure will enjoy:

  • Unprecedented wage increases to keep pace with the soaring cost of housing in Southern California
  • Affordable, excellent family healthcare
  • Humane and safe staffing that will return jobs and hours to pre-pandemic levels
  • Pension contribution increases so that workers can retire with dignity
  • Numerous improvements, including historic Equal Justice language that, among other things, will provide access to union jobs for formerly incarcerated individuals and ban the use of  E-Verify in hiring.

“We applaud the Westin Bonaventure and Peter Zen for putting the workers and our city first,” said Kurt Petersen, Co-President of UNITE HERE Local 11.  “LA is the world’s most important tourist destination, with the World Cup and Olympics coming back to back in 2026 and 2028.  This agreement takes steps ensuring that workers who work in LA will be able to live in LA. Now the rest of the industry needs to step up. If they continue to be greedy and short-sighted, workers will strike.”

Phoenix Convention Center Ratifies a New Contract

Phoenix Convention Center employees ratified a great contract with Aramark on March 24th with victories like affordable & high-quality union health insurance, Catering Service Workers are up to $20/ hr, and over $4 in raises for all classifications by Feb 2025.