After Wage Victory, Hotel Workers Hit With Less Hours

Dec. 10, 2013 / By and

Eleven months after a living wage measure for hotel workers passed in the City of Long Beach, workers at the Hilton Hotel say that the wage increase to $13 an hour has resulted in a reduction of their work hours.

Jorge Sanchez has been an employee of the Hilton Long Beach for 11 years. Sanchez claims that once he and his co-workers joined the union, their hours were reduced to 20 hours, or less, per week.

“I would like the company to see us as human beings, not machines,” said Sanchez, who is asking for more hours. “I only work 15 to 20 hours a week and to sustain a family, it’s impossible.”

The hour reductions have also caused some workers to be denied company health insurance. The hotel is not legally obligated to provide insurance for those working less than 30 hours a week.

Sanchez said that the demands on employees have increased, even while hours have shrunk. “It became so much that some of my friends decided to quit,” he said.

When asked about this issue, representatives from the Hilton declined to comment.

The Hilton has been a target of boycotts since 2008 by the hotel labor union, Unite Here, Local 11, and Long Beach Coalition for Good Jobs and a Healthy Community.

Currently, over 80 percent of employees at the Hilton Long Beach have signed a petition for to boycott the hour reductions, according to a recent article published in “Unite Here, Local 11.”

“The quality of our jobs also affects the quality of life we see here in Long Beach,” said Nikole Cababa, a community organizer with Long Beach Coalition for Good Jobs and a Healthy Community. “Until we really find justice for these workers, until management really recognizes that these are hard-working employees that are trying to support their families and also live healthy lives, then we’re going to continue to stand with them and we’re going to support and honor the boycott.”

The video above highlights workers’ voices and the Long Beach Coalition for Good Jobs and a Healthy Community.

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Adalhi Montes

As a teenager, Adalhi began volunteering at many programs helping our communities become healthier and safer to provide resources to people in need. He was involved with Weed and Seed in Central Long Beach and is a youth mentor for the California Conference for Equality and Justice. Adalhi is also in the process of completing the neighborhood leadership program at the Advanced Organizing Institute and is studying Radio and television broadcasting at LBCC. In the future, he looks forward to joining the Marine Corps and continuing his education.

Summer Culbreth

Summer Culbreth is a graduate from Millikan High School and now attends Cerritos college. She loves writing and photography and plans to find a career in public relations. VoiceWaves is helping her jumpstart my career by giving her the experience she needs to better as a journalist.