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L.A.-Area Hotel Workers Rally for Increased Wages in Massive Strike



Several thousand hotel workers in greater Los Angeles went on strike Sunday over pay and staffing levels, in one of the largest hotel work stoppages in the region’s history.

The strike, affecting a number of major Southern California hotels, puts a strain on hotels during the Fourth of July weekend and as the area hosts a major convention that typically draws tens of thousands of people. Thousands of cooks, room attendants, dishwashers, servers, bellhops and front desk agents at multiple properties have walked out.

A core issue is compensation. The rising cost of living, especially housing, is pushing hospitality workers to move hours from where they work, said Kurt Petersen, co-president of Unite Here Local 11, the union representing the hospitality workers.

“Our members were devastated first by the pandemic, and now by the greed of their bosses,” Petersen said. “The industry got bailouts while we got cuts. Now, the hotel negotiators decided to take a four-day holiday instead of negotiating. Shameful.”

The walkout comes after the biggest hotel in L.A., the Westin Bonaventure, whose staff totals about 600, came to a tentative agreement just a day before contracts expired. In addition to the wage increases, the union is bargaining for guaranteed staffing levels, automatic digital tipping and the continuation of its strong health insurance plan and pension program.

The hotels unable to strike


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