Over 15,000 hotel workers in Southern California, represented by Unite Here Local 11, have overwhelmingly voted to authorize a strike amidst ongoing negotiations. The workers are demanding a significant pay increase of $5 per hour, affordable healthcare options, a secure pension plan, and manageable workloads.
If the strike proceeds, it is poised to become the largest hotel worker strike in modern history, impacting approximately 70 hotels operated by prominent chains such as Accor, Highgate, Hilton, Hyatt, IHG, and Marriott.
With their current labor contract expiring on June 30, the hotel operators have yet to present a concrete proposal for wage improvements, despite more than a month of negotiations.
One of the primary concerns driving this action is the exorbitant cost of housing in the region, forcing 53% of employees to consider relocating. The union aims to secure a $5 hourly wage increase for all workers, arguing that the current rate of $20 per hour is insufficient to meet their needs.
Hotel management is also grappling with their own challenges, including high inflation, rising wages, and an upswing in summer travel, making it difficult to source adequate staff. According to a recent report by the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA), 75% of surveyed hotel operators have decided to raise wages, 64% are offering more flexible working hours, and 36% are expanding benefits in an effort to attract employees.
Despite these measures, 87% of operators are still struggling to fill all of their open positions, with housekeeping services being the area most critically affected by the staffing shortage.
If the strike proceeds as planned, it could have a detrimental impact on the recovery of hotel operations from the profound effects of the pandemic. The closures, which lasted between 14 to 18 months, have already dealt a significant blow to the industry.
In light of developments on the Southern California hotel workers strike, concerned workers are urged to reach out to Labor Law Advocates for assistance in filing cases against employers who may be violating labor laws and workers’ rights.
Contact Labor Law Advocates today to protect your rights and seek justice.