New Contract Ratified by Hotel Workers

Hotel workers in Beverly Hills and across Southern California overwhelmingly approved a new labor agreement that will give them a $10 wage increase over the next four years, union officials announced on March 25.

Ratification of the new contract comes three months after negotiators at the Beverly Hilton, Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills and the Beverly Wilshire had tentatively reached a deal in December. As many as 98% of hotel workers in Beverly Hills and 31 different properties throughout Los Angeles and Orange Counties voted in favor of the agreement, according to representatives for Unite Here! Local 11. 

The contract includes an immediate raise of $5 per hour, followed by additional raises that would result in a 40% to 50% pay increase for most unionized hotel employees by July 1, 2027. By then, housekeepers should be earning around $35 per hour, and top cooks should bring in about $41 per hour.

The deal also features a 600% increase in pension contributions from employers and maintains an affordable healthcare plan for union members. They’ll pay no more than $20 per month to cover their families, according to the union.

The agreement should prevent excessive workloads by guaranteeing pre-pandemic staffing levels. It also includes language that encourages hotels to increase diversity in their hiring practices and makes Juneteenth a paid holiday. Protections for immigrant workers are also included in the contract.

“This contract contains more than 50 pages of improvements and will, once all hotels win it, move $1 billion from corporate hotel profits to workers’ families,” union officials wrote in a statement.

The agreement follows months of hard negotiations, rotating picket lines and work stoppages involving over 10,000 workers. Tension between the union and officials in Beverly Hills led the city to file a lawsuit filed by a city seeking an injunction on picketing between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. Unite Here! countered with a complaint alleging the city allowed staff at the Beverly Hilton to illegally block a road to force striking workers to demonstrate closer to residential areas. 

As many as 34 hotels have agreed with the union, but dozens of others have not resolved their negotiations. These include the Hotel Figueroa, the L.A. Grand Hotel and DoubleTree in Downtown Los Angeles.

Negotiations with additional hotels are ongoing. Workers at the Santa Monica Proper Hotel and Downtown L.A. Proper Hotel, as well as Hotel June in West L.A. walked out on strike as recently as last week.

“We are not stopping until all workers get what they deserve,” Unite Here! Local 11 Co-President Kurt Petersen said in a statement. 

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