Skip navigation
Joining Unite Here Local 11 hotel workers on the picket line in Los Angeles on July 1 were members of the Writers Guild of America, also presently on strike.

Strikes Begin at Several Meeting Hotels in SoCal

One big property has come to terms with the union, but others are using non-labor staff and management to fill front-line roles. Other hotels might soon have to do the same.

On Sunday, July 1, thousands of Unite Here Local 11 hotel workers refused to report to work at more than a dozen hotels in Southern California cities including Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Universal City, and even as far south as Anaheim and Dana Point. The reason: an expired labor contract for about 15,000 Local 11 workers across 65 hotels.

According to this article from Reuters, some of the hotels targeted on the first day of work stoppages were business-focused ones, including the InterContinental, Hotel Indigo, Millennium Biltmore, and JW Marriott LA Live in downtown Los Angeles; the Fairmont Miramar in Santa Monica; the Sheraton Universal in Universal City; the Laguna Cliffs Marriott in Dana Point; and the Anaheim Hilton. The walkouts are among housekeepers, dishwashers, cooks, waiters, bellhops, and front-desk agents.

While the union reached a deal on June 29 with the Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites in Los Angeles—the largest of the 65 affected properties—more hotels will see labor walkouts if an agreement is not reached soon, said union spokesperson Maria Hernandez.

The bargaining group representing property management said its hotels would remain open with managers and non-union staff filling in for striking workers.

What Workers Are Asking For
The union said its workers earn 20 to 25 dollars an hour now, but because the high cost of living in Southern California has made it difficult for many hotel workers to afford housing, they want an immediate increase of five dollars an hour and an additional three dollars an hour in each subsequent year of the contract, plus improved healthcare and retirement benefits.

Unite Here also wants the creation of a hospitality-workforce housing fund, which would come from a new seven-percent tax on guests staying at unionized hotels, according to management.

On the flip side, the hotel-management group has proposed wage hikes of 2.5 dollars an hour in the first 12 months and another 6.25 dollars per hour spread across four years. Under such a deal, wages for housekeepers in Beverly Hills and Los Angeles who currently earn 25 dollars an hour would rise 10 percent next year, and be more than 31 dollars per hour by 2027.

Related Article: For Meetings, Wage Hikes at Hotels Have Upside and Downside

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.