Why Are Southern California’s Hotel Workers Going on Strike a Few Days Before a National Holiday?

Thousands of hotel employees in Los Angeles have gone on strike due to stalled contract negotiations. The strike, organized by the Unite Here Local 11 union, is one of the largest in Los Angeles history and reflects a series of union actions across various California industries.

Workers are demanding better pay and benefits to cope with the rising cost of living in California. However, some employers argue that unions are primarily seeking to increase their political influence.

Key Points:

  • Union: Unite Here Local 11 represents about 15,000 hotel and hospitality workers, including room attendants, dishwashers, cooks, front desk attendants, bellmen, and more.
  • Worker Demands: The union is seeking improved pay and benefits, citing the increasing unaffordability of housing, groceries, and other basic needs on their current salaries. Room attendants, the lowest-paid workers, earn between $20 and $25 per hour.
  • Union Proposal: The union’s proposal includes an immediate $5-an-hour raise, with an additional $3-an-hour raise for 2024 and 2025.
  • Hotel Coalition Proposal: The coalition of 44 hotels negotiating with the union has offered wage increases of $2.50 per hour in the first 12 months of the contract and $6.25 an hour over the next four years, along with continuing current healthcare plans and pension contributions.
  • Bargaining Disputes: The hotel coalition accuses the union of not bargaining in good faith, while the union denies canceling a scheduled bargaining session. The hotels presented a counter proposal two months after the union’s initial proposal.
  • Tentative Deal: One hotel, the Westin Bonaventure, reached a tentative deal with the union, avoiding a strike of its workers.
  • Impact and Similar Strikes: The strike is part of a series of major union actions in California this year, including strikes by teachers, Hollywood writers, and other entertainment industry workers.
  • Workers’ Concerns: Striking workers express their frustration over the rising cost of living, inadequate benefits, and understaffing, which affects their ability to provide for their families.
  • National Implications: Hotel representatives in the coalition fear that the strike may inspire similar actions across the country.

The tweet below says “Hotel workers who work in the booming Los Angeles’ tourism industry must be able to live in Los Angeles”

Thousands of hotel workers in Los Angeles have embarked on a strike, demanding better pay and benefits to cope with the high cost of living in California. The strike, organized by Unite Here Local 11, is one of the largest in Los Angeles history.

While negotiations between the union and hotel coalition continue, workers rally for improved conditions and hope their actions will lead to positive changes not only for themselves but also for workers in other industries and locations.

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