A crowd gathered at a prayer vigil and press conference outside the Renaissance Hotel in Downtown Long Beach on Wednesday for the healing of Claudia Sanchez, who collapsed and went into a coma at the hotel after working a 14-hour shift.
Long Beach community members, hotel workers, and clergy prayed for Claudia’s continued healing, as well as all of the working people in the hotels working in abusive working conditions.
Claudia is a 20-year-old dishwasher at the hotel who fell into a coma in April, and suffered a cerebral hemorrhage. She was struggling in her abusive and stressful working conditions as she overworked and had an overwhelming load of dishes, as she wasn’t receiving support.
Fernando Sanchez Jr., Claudia’s brother said Claudia is still in the hospital and in pain since April and although she has recovered a lot since then, she is still on the road to continue healing.
“We’re very blessed that she’s been getting better because the expectations of the doctors were very low,” he said. Fernando also said that it’s important for the hotels and people to be informed so that the hotels can prevent this from happening to another person in the future and hire more employees if they’re short on employees.
The crowd walked inside the hotel to give a letter to the hotel administrators. According to the letter addressed to Pam Ryan, the General Manager of the Renaissance Hotel, from Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE), CLUE demand justice and called on the hotel to take responsibility and action for causing her injuries.
Nina Fernando, a faith rooted organizer for CLUE said it’s important because city leaders have the tools to address this problem of abuse in the hospitality industry. “We believe there’s a way to stand up against abuse through good policy,” she said.