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Union, Miramar Reach Tentative Agreement


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By Jorge Casuso

January 8, 2024 -- The hotel workers union announced Monday that it has reached a tentative agreement with the Fairmont Miramar Hotel, ending a 6-month-long intermittent strike that heightened tensions with neighboring residents..

Agreements have not been reached at the four other Santa Monica hotels negotiating union contracts, where pickets and protests will continue, Unite HERE Local 11 officials said.

“We applaud the Fairmont Miramar for signing this historic agreement,” said union co-president Kurt Petersen. “This victory once again demonstrates our members’ indomitable spirit."

It also "sends an unambiguous message to the remaining hotels that we will not stop fighting until we have won a living wage at all hotels,” Petersen said.

Miramar officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The tentative agreement provides "unprecedented wage increases that keep pace with the soaring cost of housing" and "affordable, excellent family healthcare," union officials said.

The agreement also provides "humane workloads and safe staffing," "improved pension increases" and "historic Equal Justice language."

The Equal Justice language "will provide access to union jobs for formerly incarcerated individuals and strong immigration protections."

Union officials said the agreement with the Miramar is similar to those reached with 25 Southern California hotels but did not specify the terms of the contracts, which must still be ratified.

The union had been seeking an immediate $5 an hour raise for all union workers with an additional $3 an hour in subsequent years of the contract.

The bargaining group representing 44 area hotels, including the Miramar, offered to increase the hourly wage by $2 per hour immediately after ratification and another $1 per hour on July 1, 2024.

The Miramar has been at the center of a series of ongoing demonstrations that have led to an increasing number of complaints from neighboring residents who say they are losing their patience with the noisy protests.

The Council was scheduled to take up the issue on September 12 before Councilmember Phil Brock pulled the item he had co-sponsored from the agenda ("Much Noise, No Action on Union Protests," September 14, 2023).

The union will continue to protest outside the four Santa Monica hotels that have not reached agreements -- the Le Meridien Delfina, Courtyard by Marriott, Hampton Inn & Suites and Viceroy hotels.

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