Mark Kreidler speaks to Marlene Mendoza, a server of 32 years at Los Angeles International Airport for HMS Host.
A new Los Angeles program distributes farm-fresh food to struggling families.
Today veteran journalist Mark Kreidler begins a new weekly column covering the coronavirus and its social impacts.
Co-published by Fast Company
The coronavirus story involves governmental response times and political spin. But economic inequality issues also play a large part.
Co-published by Fast Company
The recent media spotlight on sexual harassment in Sacramento and Hollywood has created an opportunity to address the plight of low-wage workers.
While the sexual harassment stories of high-profile women capture headlines in the mainstream media, the everyday abuse suffered by low-wage workers in the service industry has largely gone unnoticed.
The Pew Research Center says that among millennials who head households, more live in poverty than do households led by previous generations — and that national support for unions is largely driven by millennials.
The stories of the more than 800,000 men, women and children working in California’s fields—one-third of the nation’s agricultural work force—are rarely heard. A new book, Chasing the Harvest, presents oral histories of people whose lives have been shaped by California agriculture.
The theater piece Changing Lives, Changing LA – Hotel Workers Rising was created through many interviews, cut-and-paste pieces of script stuck up on a wall and moved around, lots of serendipity and much heart. It makes its debut Friday at Loyola Marymount University.
About 80 activists representing feminists, gays and lesbians, workers and Hollywood celebrities rallied in front of the iconic Beverly Hills Hotel Monday afternoon to protest the Sultan of Brunei’s introduction of a brutal version of Sharia law.
Hassanal Bolkiah, who is worth an estimated $20 billion and has been the ruler of Brunei for the last half century, owns the hotel along with the Hotel Bel-Air and other luxury properties around the globe.
The new law technically went into effect last week and will be fully phased in by 2015. It allows for the public flogging of women who have abortions, the stoning to death of gay men and lesbians, and the jailing of women who become pregnant outside of marriage. Thieves could have their right hands and left feet amputated.
Monday’s protest took place in Will Rogers Memorial Park, across Sunset Boulevard from the Beverly Hills Hotel. It was organized by the Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF) and featured former late-night talk show host Jay Leno;
I started working at UNITE HERE Local 11 back in 1997. I’ve stayed a part of the labor movement for nearly two decades in no small part because of David Koff, then a researcher with the union, who died last week at age 74.
David was an intellectual and an activist of a kind that’s all too rare these days. He was funny and incredibly smart, and spent the first 30 years of his adult life supporting and making movies about radical international causes.
He took work seriously and was passionate about it, talked too much and made fun of himself. He called our strategy group the Popular Front Organizing Committee and was only half joking. He vowed not to cut his hair till he won a campaign and didn’t. He did construction with a friend of his, doing great work and somehow always alienating everyone by showing up late or not at all.
Today’s Los Angeles Times features front-page coverage of the Raise LA campaign, a new effort to improve the standard of living for workers employed by L.A.’s larger hotels. James Rainey’s piece, which appeared online late yesterday (as did a story on Raise LA by Nancy Cohen in The New Republic), noted that while a relatively small number of L.A. hotel workers enjoy the protections and benefits of union membership, most of the city’s hotel housekeepers, busboys and maintenance workers are mired in jobs that pay little more than California’s minimum wage of $8 per hour. Raise LA aims to create an hourly minimum wage of $15.37 for employees who work at hotels with of 100 rooms or more.
In 2012 Long Beach voters passed a similar law for its hotel workers, increasing their minimum wage to $13 an hour.
I grew up playing soccer and everyone I knew played it. It was the highlight of the week – AYSO owned my city, Ventura, and most cities across Southern California. So I never understood why most Americans don’t love soccer the way the rest of the world does. Until last Sunday.
Of course, I’d heard all of the usual complaints. “It’s a low-scoring, boring, non-physical game.” Is it “low-scoring”? Well, from the American perspective, it is. The average final score is about 2 to 1. But American football could be a low scoring game if touchdowns only gave a team one point instead of six. Football allows for three points just for kicking a ball between two posts.
But is it “boring”? Absolutely not! Who can forget when France’s Zinedine Zidane was sent off the 2006 World Cup final game for head-butting Italy’s Marco Materazzi‘s chest in retaliation to his verbal insults of Zidane’s sister.
Hyatt hotels in Long Beach, UNITE HERE Local 11 and Long Beach City Councilwoman, Dr. Suja Lowenthal, announced Monday that associates at the city’s Hyatt Regency and Hyatt The Pike have elected to be represented by UNITE HERE Local 11.
All Hyatt associates who will be represented by UNITE HERE Local 11 in Long Beach were eligible to vote in the election, which was supervised by an independent election judge. The judge verified the results last week, noting that a majority of Hyatt associates who were eligible to vote chose to have UNITE HERE represent them. Hyatt associates were notified last week of the election results.
“We’ve always maintained strong relations with our associates and unions representing Hyatt associates in other locations, and we’ve always believed Hyatt associates should have the right to choose union representation in an election,” said Stephen D’Agostino, General Manager of Hyatt Regency Long Beach. “We look forward to working with UNITE HERE to reach a contract that will continue to support our associates and maintain our high workplace standards.”
In November 2012,
Please refer the Union Hotel Guide to search for recommended union hotels. Make sure to steer clear of boycotted hotels and you may wish to consider the desirability of staying at hotels that are at risk of dispute (where there are current or looming labor disputes). Be aware that this list only reflects the present status of union hotels across North America. To avoid the prospect of labor conflict during your stay at a hotel, insist on protective contractual language when you make a reservation or organize an event.
Boycott These Properties In the Los Angeles/Orange County Area
For more information about the Global Boycott of Hyatt, please visit hyatthurts.org
Embassy Suites Irvine
2120 Main Street Irvine, CA 92614
LAX Hilton and Towers
5711 W. Century Blvd Los Angeles, CA
Holiday Inn LAX
9901 South La Cienega Boulevard Los Angeles,
My name is Cathy Youngblood. I work as a housekeeper at the Hyatt Andaz in West Hollywood. There are many positive things about being a housekeeper. I get to meet the world. I have a real bond with the other women I work with. I also take pride in working in a field where I give comfort and pleasure to people when they travel.
There are also challenges to being a housekeeper. Every day the work is exhausting and physically debilitating. And management doesn’t always really listen when we have ideas about how to make the work safer or more efficient.
I care about my job, but also I see how things could be better. That’s why Hyatt needs someone like me on its board of directors. The current corporate officers might have business sense, but I have common sense. They push paper, I do the physical labor.
Workers at hotels near LAX on Century Boulevard are supposed to be covered under a 2008 Living Wage Ordinance providing wages of at least $11.97 an hour. A new class action lawsuit alleges that the Holiday Inn LAX willfully violated a host of wage and hour laws — and workers have revealed that conditions at the hotel are unsafe for guests.
UNITE HERE Local 11, who are supporting bartenders, housekeepers, cooks and other Holiday Inn LAX employees, issued a press release on the new class-action lawsuit, that seeks damages for, “back wages, not respecting [employees’] right to take meal breaks, not reimbursing them for expenses incurred while performing their work, and failure to pay them the mandatory ‘Living Wage’ required for all LAX-area hotels.”
Workers allege that they worked over eight hours a day without being paid overtime, their time sheets were tampered with,
Seven workers at the Embassy Suites hotel in Irvine have filed a complaint with Cal/OSHA against the parent company, HEI Hotels and Resorts, about the hotel’s so-called safety program. These workers, who are currently in an organizing campaign with UNITE HERE Local 11, say that this program discourages workers from reporting injuries on the job to reach the goal of an “accident-free workplace.”
Now Cal/OSHA is investigating HEI’s “Safety Bingo” program, which offers up to $25,000 or a new car as the grand prize. “Safety Bingo” promotes a blame-the-worker mentality instead of addressing the real hazards that exist.
“They could be using that prize money instead to fix the hazards and protect workers from getting injured in the first place,” says Andrea Nicholls, Health and Safety Coordinator at the L.A. County Federation of Labor, who is assisting the workers throughout the investigation.
This case, if successful, will set a new precedent in California in combatting employer programs that appear to prevent accidents,