Inside the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown, a towering luxury hotel with a rooftop pool and sweeping views of the city, Jason Hernandez said Monday that things seemed normal. A housekeeper was cleaning his room. Lobby was a little quiet but tidy.
It wasn’t until he stepped outside, met with a metal security barricade in front of his hotel door, and a large crowd of people marching, singing, and beating drums, that his vacation plans began to reach thousands. It was revealed that the hotel collided with a large-scale strike by hotel employees.
Around 15,000 housekeepers, cooks and front desk clerks across the region quit their jobs over the weekend in search of higher pay and better benefits. The strike, which began on Sunday, coincided with the 4th of July long holiday weekend, attracting thousands of visitors for conventions, weddings and parties.
“In my heart, I kind of forget,” he says, visiting the city for Anime Expo, a festival of Japanese animation, and wearing a long brown loincloth with turquoise gems and a League of Legends character. said Hernandez, 26, dressed as amount. “And then you’re like, ‘Oh my God, this crazy thing is going on.'”
Hernandez and friends had decided to splurge on a hotel room for an expo that drew tens of thousands of fans in downtown Los Angeles, but said they didn’t mind the fuss.
“I support a cause, so I don’t really care,” said Hernandez, a public school teacher in Orange County, south of Los Angeles. “Generally speaking, life is hard. Everything is going well.”
Leaders of the union representing workers, Unite Here Local 11, said such a view has been criticized in areas where workers say wages are not keeping up with rent, gasoline and food prices. We believe that it is widely resonating with hotel guests and travelers alike. .
“The support from the community has been overwhelming,” said Kurt Petersen, co-chair of the union. “Workers paid a living wage will make this city better.”
Crowds of workers in red T-shirts that read “En Huelga” or “On Strike” stand outside several large hotels downtown Monday morning in a variety of colorful wigs, tiny dresses and witches. mingled with a crowd of robed convention attendees.
Oscar Orellana, 30, stopped in the shade of the Intercontinental and waved back to one of the drivers who honked as he passed.
Orellana has been working in the hotel’s cleaning department for six years, ensuring linens are stocked on each floor. His parents also worked as hotel cleaners for many years. His father was picketing at the nearby Ritz-Carlton.
“I met my parents and they loved what they did. That made me want to go into the hotel world. I love what I do,” he said. rice field. But with a three-hour round trip commute from Long Beach, about 40 miles away, plus a heavy workload, and not being able to afford to comfortably feed our 4-year-old son the occasional sweet treat, he said, “For us, we don’t work there.” There are – that’s why we’re here on strike,” he said.
To the west, at Santa Monica’s luxury Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows, dozens of workers picketed outside the manicured flowered hedges that line the property. Several guests said that while the hotel seemed to be running well overall, they were frustrated by minor inconveniences such as the lack of clean towels in such an expensive hotel. They also felt trapped in a socially awkward position when they just wanted to relax.
“I’m a unionist, so if they’re not paying a fair wage, I sympathize,” said John Smith, 38, who was visiting from San Bernardino with his wife.
But he added, “We’re trying to enjoy our vacation, so that’s why we took two days off.”
On the street corner just outside the premises, the bride and groom were taking pictures with their arms folded. A few yards away from them, I could see striking workers in bright red marching, waving placards above their heads.
Hotel management did not respond to a request for comment.
Pete Hillan, spokesman for the Los Angeles Hotel Association, said most hotels have contingency staffing plans and expect to be able to serve guests with little interruption. For example, major hotel chains have brought in workers from other properties unaffected by the strike, and asked management to intervene, he added.
Longer term, a major strike over the holiday weekend could hurt Los Angeles’ reputation as a destination for convention planners, business travelers and tourists, he said.
“Why did they come to LA?” he asked. “People vote with their feet.”
The hotel worker strike is just the latest high-profile union action in what California leaders are calling a “hot summer of work.” The struggle to meet the exorbitant cost of living has created an extraordinary level of solidarity among workers from different industries. , from public school aides to dockers to Hollywood screenwriters.
Outside Hollywood studios, where writers have been on strike since May, team stars and nurses showed up at the picket line. This week, leaders of the Writers Guild of America, the union that represents writers, said: Hotel employees also joined the protest.
Elected officials in Los Angeles, home to the Democratic Party, where labor unions have amassed significant political power for decades, were also eager to voice their support for the striking workers.
representative Adam Schiff, Democrat, California, On Sunday, he and his employees went picketing at a hotel near Universal Studios Hollywood.
“They should be able to make a decent living, a decent wage,” Schiff told reporters. “I am proud to be here and stand shoulder to shoulder with my brothers and sisters in labor.”
The union, which currently pays $20 an hour for housekeepers and $25 an hour, is demanding an immediate $5 increase, followed by a $3 increase each year after a three-year contract.
Hotel industry insiders said many of the union’s other demands, such as paying extra fees for guests at union-affiliated hotels to pay for workers’ housing funds, have forced hoteliers to shoulder the costs of the local housing crisis. He said it was an attempt to
Keith Grossman, a spokesman for more than 40 hotel groups in Los Angeles and Orange County that are negotiating with unions, said, “The behavior of unions shows that they care about their employees and their interests. Clearly not,” he said. member, instead concentrating on its political agenda. “
Grossman said the hotel has proposed increasing wages for housekeepers in Beverly Hills and downtown Los Angeles from $25 an hour to $31 an hour or more by January 2027.
As the country heads into a busy time for the summer travel season, union leaders refuse to speculate whether the strike will last days, weeks or months. But workers said they would continue their protests until a deal was reached.
Curtis Lee contributed to the report.
#room #ready #mind #picket #line