What Labor Shortage? Following State Reopening,
WeHo Hotel Workers Demand Passage of Protection Policy
By Vic Gerami
Who: Laid off WeHo Hotel workers, community allies
What: Picket line and protest outside the Mondrian Hotel
When: Wednesday, June 16, 2021 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Where: 8440 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069
Visuals: Workers with picket signs
Following the state’s full reopening, hotel workers in the City of West Hollywood continue to demand a just recovery for all and plan to picket outside the Mondrian hotel, where workers have been without work for over a year. Workers fear West Hollywood may be taking some of the same measures as leading industry brands that have been striving to cut down labor costs.
The City’s economic recovery critically depends on the hotel industry’s comeback, as hotel tax revenue is the City of West Hollywood’s largest source of revenue. Yet workers like Norma Hernandez who worked as a housekeeper at the Mondrian for 12 years have been largely left out of the industry’s recovery plan.
Hotel workers have been advocating for a law aimed at ensuring workers in the hotel industry have jobs to return to as the economy reopens. The policy will also contain a series of measures to address the constellation of industry-wide problems that existed prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as the risk of sexual assault faced by workers who work alone in isolated locations, inadequate compensation for heavy workloads, and the lack of comprehensive, standardized training.
Hotels such as the Mondrian and The Standard have not made a legally binding commitment to recall their workers based on seniority as business picks up.
The West Hollywood City Council plans to vote on the policy July 19, 2021 but workers say they cannot continue to wait and urge the council to pass the law as soon as possible.
About UNITE HERE Local 11
UNITE HERE Local 11 is a labor union of more than 32,000 hospitality workers in Southern California and Arizona who work in hotels, restaurants, universities, convention centers and airports.