LA Grand Hotel employees strike against ‘untenable’ workplace conditions

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On Thursday, striking workers at the LA Grand Hotel called on the city of Los Angeles to “take responsibility for the untenable situation facing LA Grand’s workers,” according to Unite Here. 

“For more than a year, [LA Grand Hotel workers] have been asking the city and the operator to protect hotel workers facing dangerous working conditions inside their workplace and violence on the picket line,” Unite Here President Kurt Petersen said in a statement to Los Angeles Daily News. 

The workers also called for increased staffing at the property to “adequately service participants” of the Inside Safe program, who often stay for longer periods of time, requiring “more heavy work,” Ana Pineda, a housekeeper at LA Grand Hotel, told Los Angeles Daily News. 

Unite Here has openly supported the Los Angeles Responsible Hotels Ordinance, which proposed mandating hotels to house individuals experiencing homelessness in their vacant rooms, despite industry leaders calling the ordinance dangerous for hotel workers. 

The LA Grand Hotel workers also called on the city to raise the minimum wage — currently at $16.90 — to keep up pace with LA’s “soaring” costs of living. The workers are also seeking “quality and affordable health insurance, a pension to retire with dignity, and humane workloads,” according to the release. 

Similar contract terms have been sought after by thousands of Southern California workers since the area’s largest multihotel strike in history began in July. 

Currently, 34 tentative contract agreements have been reached across Los Angeles and Orange County, including five earlier this week at the Sofitel Beverly Hills, Hyatt’s The Shay, Hyatt Regency Long Beach, Hyatt Centric The Pike Long Beach and Hyatt’s Andaz West Hollywood. 

More than two dozen area hotels, though, have ongoing labor disputes, according to Unite Here. The list includes Hyatt Regency LAX, which Petersen expected “to be first, not near the end” to agree on contract terms because its ownership has union ties, HuffPost reported earlier this month.