Thousands of Southern California hotel workers could strike ahead of another busy summer holiday travel weekend.
Members of Unite Here Local 11, which represents over 32,000 non-management hotel workers in Southern California and Arizona, voted on Thursday to authorize a potential strike. According to the group, 15,000 of its members in Southern California, whose contracts with employers are up at the end of June, could strike as early as July 1.
The news means that room attendants, cooks, dishwashers, servers, front desk agents, and more, at more than 60 Southern California hotels, including some well-known properties such as Westin Bonaventure, Beverly Wilshire, and more, could be absent during the busy July 4 travel weekend.
The group is seeking a $5 an-hour wage increase to keep pace with the cost of housing in Southern California, along with affordable family health care, a pension, and “a safe and humane workload.”
Unite Here Local 11 has been negotiating with the hotels, including Hyatt, Hilton, Highgate, Accor, IHG, and Marriott, since April 20, but talks broke down about a month ago.
The group has called out the importance of getting a new contract and securing a healthy hospitality industry in the area, ahead of the FIFA World Cup in 2026 and the Olympics in 2028, both of which will take place in Southern California.
According to ABC 7 in Los Angeles, hotel owners have met the proposals from United Here Local 11 with resistance. Meanwhile, members of the Los Angeles City Council voted late last month to request a financial report on what impact raising service industry workers' pay to $25 an hour and eventually $30 would have.