The labor dispute in Los Angeles involving several thousand hotel workers has intensified as they walked off the job on Monday morning. The LA hotel worker strikes are centered around the issues of wages and staffing levels. They are impacting major hotels near the LAX, causing disruptions for domestic and international travelers during the peak summer season.
The main point of contention between the hotels and the union, Unite Here Local 11, is the wages in the high-cost Southern California region. Workers argue that they are forced to commute from distant locations because they cannot afford to live near their workplaces. They are demanding an immediate $5-an-hour raise, along with subsequent increases.
Last week, thousands of hotel workers represented by Local 11 went on a three-day strike at 21 hotels in downtown Los Angeles and Santa Monica, which affected the busy July Fourth holiday weekend and a large anime convention that attracted tens of thousands of attendees.
While the Hotel Association of Los Angeles did not provide an immediate response, a spokesman, Peter Hillan, had previously stated to The Washington Post that the union’s actions negatively impact Los Angeles’ reputation as a tourist destination.
The strike now affects hotels near the international airport, including the Holiday Inn, Fairfield Inn, Aloft, Four Points Sheraton, Hotel June, and Westin. Union contracts for 60 hotels in Southern California expired at the end of June, affecting approximately 15,000 hospitality workers in Los Angeles and Orange counties. So far, only the Westin Bonaventure, the largest hotel in Los Angeles, has reached a tentative agreement on a new contract.