UNITE HERE Local 11, currently representing over 32,000 hospitality workers in southern California and Arizona, has a long history in Los Angeles. The Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees (HERE) Local 11 brought together previously separate locals for waiters, waitresses, bartenders, cooks, and other hotel workers.

In the 1970s and 1980s, the predominantly Spanish-speaking membership of Local 11 fought for fuller participation in their union against a largely Anglo leadership. In 1989, María Elena Durazo became the first Latina to lead a major Los Angeles union. She began reorienting the local towards greater membership participation and a more assertive stance with employers.

Since then, Local 11 merged with locals in Santa Monica, Long Beach, and Orange County, and in 2016, with Local 631 in Arizona.

Its parent union took the name UNITE HERE in 2004.


Making History – The Santa Monica Minimum Wage

Marco Alcala

2012 – The Way We Win: Measure N in Long Beach

Long Beach voters overwhelmingly approve Measure N, a hotel worker minimum wage increase.

Sí Se Pudo 2

Sí Se Pudo 2

In 2007-2008 UNITE HERE won the first union contract in six hotels throughout the country. This video—directed by David Koff—tells the story of how it as done. Sí se pudo!

Sí Se Pudo

Sí Se Pudo

On June 11, 2005, after a 14-month campaign, UNITE HERE Local 11 won a contract for the union hotels in Los Angeles. In this video you’ll see and hear from rank and file leaders about the courage, leadership, and organizing it took to win the fight. Featured in the video, which was produced by David Koff, are Morena Hernandez from the Andaz West Hollywood, and Ana Cortez from the Beverly Hilton.

Los Angeles Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride

Los Angeles Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride

In September 2003, in the tradition of the Civil Rights Movement Freedom Rides in the sixties, the Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride left from 10 cities with 900 riders from 50 different countries on a journey across the U.S. to fight for the rights of all immigrant workers.

This is the story of the Los Angeles Freedom Riders, led by Maria Elena Durazo and including many Local 11 workers.