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.