Los Angeles Hotel Workers Go on Strike

Workers in a variety of industries across Southern California have threatened strikes and layoffs in recent months, displaying unusual levels of solidarity with other unions calling for higher wages and better working conditions.

Dockworkers disrupted operations at the massive ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach for weeks until a tentative deal was reached in June. And the writers have been picketing outside the gates of Hollywood studios for about two months.

Los Angeles City Councilman Hugo Sotomartinez, who hosted “Unite Here Local 11,” said a wide range of industries were locked in labor disputes, with rising inequality and opportunities evaporating, especially among younger workers. He said he was dissatisfied with what he saw.

“It’s homelessness and housing costs,” he said. “I think people understand these issues in a more obvious way.”

The hotel workers’ strike comes just as the summer tourist season is in full swing, and Labor leaders want to capitalize on that momentum.

Last year, tourism in the city reached its highest level since the coronavirus pandemic, according to To the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Commission. Nearly 46 million people visited and total business turnover in 2022 was $34.5 billion, reaching 91 percent of the record set in 2019.

But for many workers, like Diana Rios-Sanchez, housekeeping supervisor at the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown, wages haven’t helped keep up with inflation.

She and her three children live in a one-bedroom apartment in the El Sereno neighborhood on Los Angeles’ East Side, and often wonder how long they’ll be able to stay in the city.

“At the hotel, all we do is work work, and we can get by with very little,” said Rios Sanchez. “We take care of tourists, but no one takes care of us.”

Business groups argue that simply demanding that employers pay workers more will not address the deep-seated problems that drive California’s exorbitant cost of living.

The union has been negotiating a new contract since April. In June, members approved a strike.

Housekeepers are currently paid $20 and $25 an hour, but they are calling for an immediate $5 increase, followed by a $3 increase each year after a three-year contract.

In contrast, Grossman said in a statement that the hotel is proposing to increase wages for housekeepers, who currently earn $25 an hour in Beverly Hills and downtown Los Angeles, to at least $31 an hour by January 2027. said it does.

On Thursday, the Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites, a mega hotel in downtown Los Angeles, said it had avoided an employee strike. contract transaction.

The deal, signed this year, will set salary levels ahead of the 2026 World Cup and 2028 Olympics, which are expected to draw huge numbers of tourists to the region.

Mr Petersen said on Sunday the strike would last for “multiple days”. The Los Angeles Hotel Association said in a statement that hotels can continue to serve tourists.

Anna Betts Contributed to the report.

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