Hotel Workers Union Authorizes Strikes at 24 Hotels, Including The Andaz in West Hollywood

A week after union contracts expired, workers have voted 96% in favor of striking at 24 hotels across Los Angeles and Orange counties, including the Andaz in West Hollywood and nearby hotels such as the SLS Beverly Hills and the Beverly Hilton.

The vote comes after a record-breaking 20 hotel strikes have already been carried out in over 10 cities across the country so far this year. The vote also comes on the heels of strikes being settled in San Francisco late last week, and Hawaii the week before.

Andaz
The Andaz hotel on Sunset Boulevard

With the holiday season drawing near, some hotels have already been the site of protests in a build-up to what has already become the largest series of hotel strikes in U.S. history. In an announcement of the vote, Unite Here Local 11, the hotel and restaurant workers union, said that “as tensions grow at the bargaining table, some of the Southland’s most prominent hotels could see work stoppages as early as December 12.”

Unite Here said it has been in negotiations with employers for months with a list of demands ranging from more affordable healthcare, to the implementation of panic buttons, increases to pensions, stronger protections for immigrants and wages that reach $25 per hour.

“We are asking that this contract get workers to $25 an hour,” said Kurt Petersen, co-president of Unite Here Local 11, “L.A. has one of the highest costs of living in the country, and our booming tourism industry can afford to pay its workers a living wage.”

In recent months, Unite Here has been especially active in West Hollywood. It launched an unsuccessful campaign earlier this year to force the West Hollywood City Council to rescind its approval of a nine-story hotel as part of the Robertson Lane development on Robertson Boulevard. It was successful in getting a measure on the March 5, 2019, city election ballot that would, if approved by voters, rescind the city’s approval of the Arts Club project on Sunset Boulevard at Hilldale.

Unite Here recently filed an objection to a proposal by the Mani Brothers to convert the Piazza del Sol building on Sunset Boulevard at Queens Road into a hotel. That objection led to a postponement on Thursday night of a city planning commission review of the project. And it has put forth a proposal for a future ballot that would require a 24-month moratorium on the construction of new hotels in West Hollywood.

In its announcement of the strike authorization, the union noted that “last year, Los Angeles welcomed 48.3 million visitors, an increase of 2.2% from the year before, and the seventh consecutive year of record-breaking tourism numbers for the city. At the same time, median rent in the city rose to $1,760 for a two-bedroom apartment.”

The hotel industry is a major part of West Hollywood’s economy. The city currently has 20 hotels and motels in operation, with the Edition on Sunset scheduled to open soon and the Sunset Time under construction on Sunset Boulevard at Olive Drive. The hotel room occupancy tax is the source of 26% of the city’s general revenue.

Workers at the following hotels are now authorized to strike:

> Anaheim Hilton
> Beverly Hilton
> Biltmore DTLA
> Bonaventure DTLA
> Courtyard/Residence DTLA
> Fairmont Miramar Santa Monica
> Glendale Hilton
> Hyatt Andaz West Hollywood
> Intercontinental DTLA
> JW Marriott/Ritz DTLA
> LA Hotel DTLA
> Loews Hollywood
> Luxe Rodeo Summit Beverly Hills
> Luxe DTLA
> Marriott Westdrift Manhattan Beach
> Regent Beverly Wilshire
> Sheraton DTLA
> Sheraton Universal City


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Cy Husain
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What the Great City of West Hollywood needs to do is exactly what the city of Seattle did a few years ago and raise its minimum wage, which is now actually $15.45 per hour. All the right-wing libertarian think tanks like the heritage foundation and cato were telling us that Seattle was on the verge of the apocalypse with the economy soon to crash and, murder and mayhem breaking loose. This all because right-wing white males were going to leave in droves causing a collapse human civilization. Well, here we are a few years later and all that’s happened is… Read more »

blueeyedboy
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blueeyedboy

There is no reason for anyone to stay in a low wage job any longer than it takes to prepare for something better. LA has quite a few trade and tech schools that provide a low-skilled person with the training to get work in a field that would give them what they keep demanding in their current jobs doing menial labor. Public schools have adult classes teaching English as a second language. An employer pays what a job is worth, and it’s arrogant for a worker to expect to be paid more just because he says he needs it. What… Read more »

jj
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jj

“These are ‘transitional’ jobs…”

Says who? You?!

Get real.

And how is someone supposed to pay for these wonderful “trade and tech schools” which will magically “get (them) work in a field that would give them what they keep demanding” when they don’t even have the money to eat without food stamps given their horrible, non-union hotel wages?

Again, get real. And stop Ann Rand-ing. We see you very clearly.

blueeyedboy
Guest
blueeyedboy

I don’t know who Ann Rand is. There are loans available, often based on a sliding scale, and repayment doesn’t begin until after the completion of the program. Very low income students frequently are not required to pay any fees. I know a young woman whose gangbanger father of her children got himself killed. She went to West Valley Occupational Center and completed a program (I don’t remember what program she was in), after which she got a good job. I stand by my position. With very few exceptions poor people can do much better than menial labor. I have… Read more »

HoosierDaddy
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HoosierDaddy

blueeyedboy is spot on. The key to commanding higher pay is improving one’s education and skill set to match the needs of companies that hire for higher paying positions. The expectation of $25\hour for a hotel worker job is absurd and if that became the minimum it won’t do much to change their standard of living for very long since the consequence of such wage inflation will put them right back to the lowest-pay status they’re presently at. Mandating an artificial value (be it $15/hr or $25/hr) for such menial, low skilled jobs will result in companies throughout the local… Read more »

Cy Husain
Guest

With 96% of the workers having voted in favor of striking, I’m guessing that we won’t be seeing the usual right-wing arguments about all the workers being overcome with the desire to just “walkaway” from their unions? The problem here is NOT that we don’t have the money to pay workers a living wage but, we are intent on allowing there to be no limit on the avarice of corporate elites. Now if the workers were allowed to share fairly in the profits generated by their workplace, they would be far more willing to do more to raise them. Better… Read more »

Tom Smart
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Tom Smart

The Beverly Hilton best figure it out before the Golden Globes on January 6th.

HoosierDaddy
Guest
HoosierDaddy

If accommodating these workers demands, of course, the hotel companies are not going to just accept getting lower profits, so will raise prices much higher, likely resulting in less business – and\or invest more in automated processes (robot room service, housekeeping tasks, etc like some big hotels have already started), in either case, resulting in needing fewer employees. So hoorah to those who’ll get bigger paychecks and benefits but sad situation for many more who will become unemployed.

carleton croninc
Guest

No doubt that hotel workers are part of the current serf class and an excellent example of the wide divide between them and the corporate boardrooms. The idea of collective bargaining is not socialism, but it is an art form often badly practiced by those most ion need of it. Corporations, in spite of all the gooey pronouncements of caring for their workers, simply don’t give a damn as long as there are people willing to work for meager wages. Try to find a decent hotel room for less than $125 a night – even at such inns as La… Read more »

Kanye East
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Kanye East

— “…as long as there are people willing to work for meager wages.” —

Yep. Thank goodness for sanctuary state and its cities and overall lax immigration enforcement and all those who vote for politicians who support those policies. Supply, demand and competition apply to an employee’s value too.

janice_byrer
Guest
janice_byrer

Welcome to Socialism, and the reason businesses and people are leaving CA. It’s turning into a zoo like Portland, SF, etc.

jj
Guest
jj

Good for them! These billion dollar corporations need to pay their workers a living wage and provide affordable health care.