L.A. hotel strike: 28 hotels reached tentative deals with workers

The new year has brought more progress in contract talks between Southern California hotels and the union that represents their workers.

Unite Here Local 11 this week secured tentative agreements with four more properties in Los Angeles County. The union announced a deal with the Fairmont Miramar in Santa Monica on Monday. The union said Friday it had also secured deals with Sheraton Universal, Line Hotel and 1 Hotel West Hollywood.

Unite Here Local 11 represents thousands of housekeepers, cooks, dishwashers, servers and front desk workers in Southern California who have been pushing for higher pay and better benefits. The latest agreements cover nearly 1,000 workers, said union spokesperson Maria Hernandez.

In all, the union has reached tentative agreements with 28 hotels, nearly half of some 60 properties in Los Angeles and Orange counties initially targeted by intermittent strikes that started in July.

The union has declined to give specifics on wages and other economic details of the agreements it has reached so far, and none of the 28 contracts has been put to a vote by workers. Hernandez has said that, once ratified by workers at the various hotels, the contracts will raise wages, strengthen pensions and increase investments in healthcare.

In a news release Friday announcing new agreements, the union called out Aimbridge Hospitality, Blackstone and Ensemble, companies that own or operate a number of hotels still in talks with the union.

“Tourism is booming. Room rates are soaring. The World Cup is around the corner. While we recognize the growing list of hotels signing this historic agreement, we are appalled that Aimbridge-operated hotels such as the Hyatt Regency LAX and Pasadena Hilton fail so miserably to listen to their workers,” Kurt Petersen, co-president of Unite Here Local 11, said in the release.

Spokespeople with Blackstone and Ensemble did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Mark Tamis, global president of Aimbridge, said in an emailed statement that the company has asked the union to agree to a contract proposal it put forth for six properties it operates that “reflects our commitment to our associates and includes thoughtful increases in non-tipped wages and continued contributions to healthcare and retirement.”

“We are urging the union to act by countersigning the proposal so that we can implement these wage increases at these properties, including providing retroactive payments,” Tamis said.

The six properties are the Hilton Pasadena, Hyatt Regency LAX, Holiday Inn LAX, Sheraton Park Hotel at the Anaheim Resort and DoubleTree by Hilton hotels in downtown L.A. and San Pedro, said Lindsay Wyskowski, a spokesperson representing Aimbridge with public relations firm Identity PR.

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