UNITE HERE Local 11 members, along with representatives from future citywide conventions and events, have announced a boycott of Los Angeles in an ongoing dispute.
UNITE HERE Local 11 represents more than 32,000 hospitality workers in hotels, restaurants, universities, convention centres and airports in Southern California and Arizona.
According to the union, the hotel strikes have caused groups including the Democratic Governors Association, the Japanese American Citizens League and The Council of State Governments West, to relocate, suspend or cancel their events.
Hotel workers across Southern California and Arizona have been working without a contract since 1 July 2023 and have demanded an immediate $ 5-an-hour payrise.
Hospitality workers are more important than ever for Los Angeles, which is set to host the FIFA World Cup in 2026 and the Olympics in 2028. Local 11 has stated its intention to ask the organisers of these events to join the boycott in Los Angeles.
Local 11 co-president Kurt Petersen commented: “For those who are deciding whether to hold your event in LA, the choice is clear. On one side, there is the boundless greed and violent conduct of rapacious corporations. On the other side, there is the sacrifice, solidarity and courage of these workers fighting for a living wage. Which side are you on?”
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Federal charges against Los Angeles hotels
In August 2023, the union filed federal labour charges against the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows in Santa Monica, Hotel Maya in Long Beach and the Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa in Dana Point.
They allege that hotel management has committed or condoned violence against their own employees while they have been on strike and picketing.
California State Treasurer Fiona Ma and Congresswoman Katie Porter are among 48 California elected leaders who have signed a letter to the University of California Chief Investment Officer Jagdeep Singh Bachher, registering concern over developments at the Laguna Cliffs Marriott.
The charge is pending investigation by the National Labour Relations Board.