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Hotels Workers at Santa Monica DoubleTree Announce Decision to Join Union
By Lookout Staff
June 14, 2017 -- After a 16-year battle, hotel workers employed by the DoubleTree in Santa Monica announced Tuesday they are joining UNITE Here Local 11, a hospitality workers union already representing employees at some of the larger local hotels.
Joined by local activists, clergy, and Santa Monica City Council members Kevin McKeown and Tony Vazquez, the workers -- primarily immigrant women -- made the announcement in an event in front of City Hall.
Antonio Mendoza, a Local 11 spokesperson said 83 employees of the city’s DoubleTree will be represented by the union, saying the workers “sought dignity, good salaries, benefits, and job security.”
The unionizing campaign started in 2001.
Tuesday’s event included Maria Cortez, a housekeeper, who attended the announcement with her daughter Stephanie, soon to be a senior at Santa Monica High School.
The teen said was still in her mother’s womb when the drive to unionize DoubleTree started. She said she’d grown up on picket lines.
“I am so proud of how my mother and her coworkers worked to win respect and dignity at their workplace,” she said.
“These women are like my second family. I am so inspired by their perseverance, and now I’m so happy that they finally won their union!”
In March, employees at two new downtown Santa Monica hotels -- the Courtyard Marriot and Hampton Inn -- voted to join Local 11.
Development agreements approved by the City Council for the hotels included an $15.37 an hour minimum wage as well as funding for the Hospitality Training Academy, a program designed to help at-risk youth.
About six months earlier, housekeepers at the JW Marriott Santa Monica Le Merigot Hotel voted to join Local 11, which has also been active in trying to increase development to provide more hospitality jobs and affordable housing in the city.
The UNITE HERE Local 11 labor union represents more than 20,000 hospitality workers in Southern California hotels, restaurants, universities, convention centers and airports, according to representatives.
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