Los Angeles hotel workers strike

Workers in a variety of industries across Southern California have threatened to strike or walk off the job in recent months, showing an unusual degree of solidarity with other unions as they push for higher wages and better working conditions.

Dock workers boycotted operations at the massive ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach for weeks until a tentative agreement was reached in June. And screenwriters have been picketing outside the gates of Hollywood Studios for nearly two months.

Los Angeles City Councilman Hugo Soto-Martinez, who served as an organizer for Unite Here Local 11, said the breadth of industries locked in labor disputes shows frustration, especially among younger workers, who see inequality widening and opportunities evaporating.

“It’s homelessness, it’s the cost of housing,” he said. “I think people understand those issues in a very clear way.”

Labor leaders hope to capitalize on the hotel workers’ strike as the summer tourist season ramps up.

Last year, the city’s tourism reached its highest level after the coronavirus pandemic. According to To the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board. Nearly 46 million people visited, and $34.5 billion in gross merchandise sales in 2022, reaching 91 percent of the record set in 2019.

But for many workers, like Diana Rios-Sanchez, who works as a housekeeping supervisor at the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown, wages haven’t kept up with inflation.

She often wonders how long she and her three children, who live in a one-bedroom apartment in El Sereno on the east side of Los Angeles, can stay in the city.

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“What we do in hotels is work and work and very little is available,” Ms. Rios-Sanchez said. “We take care of tourists, but no one takes care of us.”

Demanding that employers pay workers more doesn’t address the deeper problems that have led to skyrocketing living costs in California, business groups say.

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

The group has asked for hourly wages, now $20 and $25 for domestic workers, to increase by $5 immediately, followed by $3 bumps in each year of the three-year contract.

By contrast, Mr. Grossman said in the statement.

On Thursday, the Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites, a major hotel in downtown Los Angeles, announced it had halted a walkout of its workers. A contractual agreement.

Agreements made this year will set wage levels ahead of the 2026 World Cup and 2028 Olympics, which are expected to attract huge tourist arrivals to the region.

The strike will continue for “several days”, said Mr. Peterson said Sunday. The Hotel Association of Los Angeles said in a statement that hotels can continue to serve visitors.

Anna Betts Contributed report.

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