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Final 4 Santa Monica Hotels Sign Union Contracts, Protests End


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By Jorge Casuso

April 26, 2024 -- The last four Santa Monica hotels engaged in bitter contract negotiations with the hotel workers union have signed agreements that provide "life-changing" wages for workers, union officials announced Friday.

The Viceroy, Le Meridien Delfina, Courtyard and Hampton Inn are among the 46 hotels that have signed union contracts that will pay housekeepers $35 per hour, or $73,000 a year, and top cooks $41 per hour, or $85,000 a year, by July 2027.

The agreements put an end to the noisy protests and intermittent strikes that began nine months ago, heightening tensions between the union and neighboring Santa Monica residents.

In addition to the wage hikes -- the largest of any industry-wide contract in the last 30 years -- the agreements provide "one of the highest paid pension plans for service workers in the nation," according to Unite HERE Local 11.

Fifty pages of improvements include "Juneteenth as a paid holiday, unprecedented language for the fair treatment of workers impacted by the criminal justice system and protections of immigrant rights."

The union increased the pressure on the four hotels this month, staging more frequent protests that included a parade with floats and a Mariachi band ("Hotel Union Steps Up Actions Amid Stalled Contract Negotiations," April 11, 2024).

The parade kicked off at Le Meridien Delfina, which is being investigated by the LA County District Attorney after union officials alleged the hotel exploited "unhoused refugees" hired during the intermittent strike ("DA to Investigate Exploitation of Temp Hotel Workers," October 23, 2023).

The Hampton Inn and Courtyard hotels -- on the 400 and 500 blocks of Colorado Avenue -- have seen protests increase after the union targeted Aimbridge Hospitality properties.

The union alleges that six female workers at two Aimbridge hotels, including two workers at the Hampton Inn, were harrassed and verbally abused. The company disputes the claims.

Among the more than a dozen hotels that have not agreed to the union contract, four, are operated by Aimbridge.

Earlier this week, the Proper Hotel in Santa Monica was one of seven hotels that reached tentative agreements with the union after it was the target of recent protests ("Santa Monica Hotel Signs Union Agreement, 4 Hold Out," April 23, 2024).

In January, the Fairmont Miramar Hotel, reached a tentative agreement with the union, ending a 6-month-long intermittent strike ("Union, Miramar Reach Tentative Agreement," January 8, 2024).

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