striking california hotel workers demand a chance to live closer to work
Hotel workers and labour organisers in Southern California have been striking and demanding higher wages, among other benefits. They argue inflation and high rent cost have made living in Los Angeles and Orange counties with their existing salaries incredibly challenging.
Irene Andrade has worked as a housekeeper at the Sheraton Gateway near Los Angeles International Airport for 17 years. In order to be able to afford rent, the 53-year-old changed places, highlighting how she now needs to spend several hours commuting to and from work.
Andrade revealed her harsh routine, stressing she’s on the road at 5 am and gets back around 7 pm – making it difficult for her to spend time with her 7-year-old daughter. “I’m losing here to go work,” she said about her inability to spend more time with her family.
Unite Here Local 11, which represents scores of hospitality workers in the region, coordinated the latest industrial action affecting at least 12 hotels Monday and Tuesday. Three-day work stoppages from last week involved thousands of workers, affecting 21 hotels.
Sixty hotel contracts affecting 15,000 hotel workers expired on June 30. The union has been in contract negotiations since late April. It’s asking for higher salaries, healthcare benefits and safer workloads, among other conditions – stressing the changes would help address the expected rising costs ahead of the 2026 soccer World Cup.
The Coordinated Bargaining Group, however, filed an unfair labour practice charge against the union the day contracts expired. The coalition representing 44 hotels argued the union failed to respond to a counteroffer from them.