Hyatt Hotel Workers Unionize in Long Beach

Apr. 14, 2013 / By

Long Beach community advocates, religious leaders, union organizers and city representatives packed the conference room on the 3rd floor of the Long Beach City Hall this past Monday, April 8.

City leaders, the Hyatt General Manager and the community gathered to hold a press conference announcing that the Hyatt Regency Long Beach and Hyatt at the Pike agreed to sit down with Unite Here Local 11, the union that represents over 20,000 workers that are employed at restaurants, hotels, airports, sports arenas, etc. Hyatt Long Beach and Unite Here Local 11 look forward to agreeing on a collective bargaining agreement, as the hotel workers elect to unionize.

“It will be my shared responsibility to help bring business from the labor movement to these two hotels,” said Maria Elena Durazo, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the L.A. County Federation of Labor. With over $114 million in direct taxpayer assistance, the Hospitality industry has grown and flourished, but workers are paid poverty wages and rely on public assistance.

When Measure N passed last year Long beach hotels became required to pay their employees a living wage of at least $13 an hour or $2,000 a month. But even after it passed with a majority vote, it felt like the battle wasn’t over. Advocates and workers have continued to organize and educated their co-workers on this measure, while the enforcement of the measure has continued to be controversial.

This is a victory for those who have worked for more rights for hotel workers as the Hyatt Regency Long Beach has long been boycotted because of what they believed were harsh working conditions of the workers and the poverty wages that were being paid to Hyatt employees.

The video above captures some of the speakers at the press conference including Councilwoman Suja Lowenthal, Hyatt Regency General Manager Stephen D’Agostino, as well as hotel workers and more community leaders.

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Joshua Jimenez

Joshua Jimenez is a 21 year old Filipino-American, born and raised on the Eastside of Long Beach. Growing up on the Eastside was rough, especially for Joshua. Growing up in gangs, drugs, and seeing struggle with his close friends and family. It wasn't until he started getting involved with the Filipino community that he was getting in touch with his culture. He now educates and organize the Filipino youth and his peers about their culture and the issues we all face in our community. Joshua wants to use his passion of film-making and making documentary films about the stories of working class people in his community, especially giving voice to the working class Filipinos in the city of Long Beach.