Palm timber stand in entrance of the Marina Del Rey Marriott lodge in Marina Del Rey, California.
Patrick T. Fallon | Bloomberg | Getty Pictures
Simply because the July Fourth vacation weekend will get into excessive gear, 1000’s of lodge staff in Southern California started placing Sunday morning in search of to barter a contract with increased wages and different advantages, in accordance with the union representing the employees.
Members of UNITE HERE Native 11, which says it represents greater than 32,000 hospitality staff in Southern California and Arizona, are placing at greater than a dozen resorts all through Los Angeles and Santa Monica after their contract expired simply after midnight, in accordance with posts on the union’s Twitter web page.
Individuals embrace cooks, dishwashers, servers, entrance desk staff and room attendants, the union stated in a information launch. A union consultant stated Friday that the contract coated about 15,000 staff at 65 resorts.
The union’s key calls for embrace a $5-an-hour wage enhance, entry to reasonably priced household well being care advantages and stronger office protections.
A spokesperson for the union couldn’t instantly be reached Sunday to supply extra particular particulars.
Negotiations started April 20, the native stated. Final month, 96% of UNITE HERE Native 11 members voted to authorize the strike.
The union additionally says that whereas resorts obtained billions in federal bailouts in the course of the pandemic and have since bounced again and exceeded pre-pandemic income, wages haven’t saved up with rising housing prices. Reasonably priced housing advocates have stated skyrocketing rents are fueling homelessness all through California, the place almost 1 million fewer reasonably priced rental houses can be found for very low-income renters, in accordance with the Nationwide Low Revenue Housing Coalition.
In an announcement, Kurt Petersen, a co-president of UNITE HERE Native 11, stated it was “shameful” that “the lodge negotiators determined to take a four-day vacation as a substitute of negotiating.”
The Resort Affiliation of Los Angeles stated in an announcement Thursday that lodge administration representatives had been “actively engaged in good religion collective bargaining” with the union.
“The lodge neighborhood will proceed to supply glorious service in welcoming friends to the Los Angeles space as we at all times do,” it added.
And attorneys Keith Grossman and Ken Ballard stated in an announcement launched Friday on behalf of the Coordinated Bargaining Group — the 44 Los Angeles County and Orange County resorts concerned within the negotiations — that the union “has proven no need to have interaction in productive, good religion negotiations with this group.”
The assertion additionally stated the Coordinated Bargaining Group proposed wage will increase of $2.50 per hour within the first 12 months, rising to a $6.25 hourly enhance over the subsequent 4 years.
The strike comes days after the Westin Bonaventure, the town’s greatest lodge, got here to an settlement affecting its 600 staff, who will obtain elevated wages and pension contributions, amongst different advantages, the union stated.
It is usually occurring in the course of the Anime Expo, a four-day occasion targeted on Japanese popular culture going down on the Los Angeles Conference Middle that draws 100,000 folks from all over the world, the Los Angeles Occasions reported.
The strike additionally comes amid the ongoing Hollywood writers’ strike. And the Display Actors Guild, which represents a few of Hollywood’s greatest stars, agreed to increase its contract negotiations with the Alliance of Movement Image and Tv Producers to July 12 to avert a strike.