Southern California hotel strike: Millennium Biltmore L.A. hotel workers reach tentative deal
After nearly three months of sporadic strikes at dozens of hotels in Southern California, the union representing workers at one property — the Biltmore in downtown Los Angeles — announced Friday that it has reached a tentative deal for higher pay and benefits.
The union, Unite Here Local 11, said in a written statement that once the contract is ratified, the 300 workers at the Biltmore will see “unprecedented wage increases that keep pace with the soaring cost of housing.”
The agreement also provides improved healthcare, more robust staffing, pension increases, and more inclusive hiring procedures for formerly incarcerated people and unauthorized immigrants, said union spokesperson Maria Hernandez.
“We applaud the Biltmore Los Angeles for putting their workers and our city first,” said Kurt Petersen, co-president of Unite Here Local 11 in a Friday news release by the union.
The hotel, in the financial district, is the second Southern California property with which the union has struck a deal. The first was the Westin Bonaventure, which reached a tentative deal just as contracts were set to expire June 30, for more than 15,000 hotel workers at some 60 properties in Los Angeles and Orange counties.
“We are very pleased to have come to an agreement with Unite Here Local 11 on behalf of our loyal and dedicated employees,” said Jimmy Wu, general manager of the Biltmore Los Angeles, according to the news release. “We can now focus together on looking after our guests and providing the level of service our guests have come to expect from the Biltmore Los Angeles.”
Unite Here Local 11 declined to give specifics about wages and other economic details of the agreements. Unionized workers have not yet held a vote to ratify the Westin Bonaventure contract.
The Westin Bonaventure averted a strike, but at dozens of other properties, hotel workers have been walking off the job intermittently, a few days at a time, ever since the Fourth of July weekend.
The latest burst of strikes kicked off Monday, when workers at five Santa Monica hotels walked off the job. On Thursday, the strike expanded to Beverly Hills properties, including the Waldorf Astoria, the Beverly Hilton and the Fairmont Century Plaza.
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