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Hotel Union Steps Up Actions Amid Stalled Contract Negotiations


Bob Kronovetrealty
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By Lookout Staff

April 11, 2024 -- Workers at two union hotels in Santa Monica went on strike Thursday and will join workers from two other local hotels locked in bitter contract negotiations in a parade on Friday.

The escalating actions come as negotiations at dozens of LA area hotels -- including the Le Meridien Delfina, Viceroy, Courtyard and Hampton Inn hotels in Santa Monica -- have been at a standstill for more than a year.

Friday's parade, which kicks off at 4:30 from Le Meridien Delfina at 530 Pico Boulevard, will include a caravan of floats, a mariachi band, community members, clergy and striking workers from the four Santa Monica hotels, union officials said.

This week's actions are the latest taken by Unite HERE Local 11, which has staged intermittent labor strikes and protests that began during the Independence Day weekend last year.

The parade will start at the Le Meridian Delfina, which is being investigated by the LA County District Attorney after union officials alleged it exploited "unhoused refugees" hired during the intermittent strike ("DA to Investigate Exploitation of Temp Hotel Workers," October 23, 2023).

Meanwhile, workers at the local Courtyard Marriott and Hampton Inn and Suites on Thursday took part in a strike at Los Angeles area hotels owned by Aimbridge Hospitality, which has not signed union contracts at any of its hotels.

Six female workers, including two at the Hampton Inn & Suites in Santa Monica, allege "they experienced harassment and verbal abuse at work" and have filed pending complaints with the California Civil Rights Department, union officials said.

Company officials have disputed the claims, telling the union in an email, "We are confident in our position, including the actions taken by Aimbridge in response to each of the underlying complaints.”

The four Santa Monica hotels targeted in Friday's union parade are among dozens of union hotels in LA and Orange counties that remain embroiled in contentious negotiations.

Two Santa Monica hotels -- the Fairmont Miramar and Le Merigot -- are among 34 Southern California hotels whose workers have approved tentative agreements ("Workers Ratify Union Contracts at 2 Local Hotels," March 25, 2024).

Under the new contracts, workers will see wages rise by $10 -- or 40 to 50 percent -- by the end of the contract in January 2028, according to union officials.

By July 2027, housekeepers at most of the hotels will earn $35 per hour, or $73,000 a year, while top cooks will earn $41 per hour, or $85,000 a year, union officials said.

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