Expiring labor contracts could spell trouble for LA’s hotel industry

The disputes come at a time when the city is pushing for more hotel construction

Nov.November 29, 2018 11:00 AM
Unite Here workers demonstrate in front of the Allegro Hotel in Chicago (Credit: iStock)

A series of expiring labor contracts between unions and hotels in Los Angeles and Orange counties could disrupt a local industry that continues to undergo rapid expansion.

About 25 hotels in L.A. and Orange counties — many of run by Marriott International — have contracts with thousands of workers that are set to run out Friday. Others include the Hyatt Andaz in West Hollywood, the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, and the Fairmont Miramar in Santa Monica, according to the Los Angeles Times.

That is happening as Unite Here, union representing hotel workers, ended its month-long strike with several Marriott in locations around the country, the Times reported. Those hotels employ 8,000 workers represented by Unite Here. Some of those labor disputes continue in San Francisco.

Unite Here officials did not discuss details of the recent agreements with Marriott, but spokesperson Rachel Gumpert said the union won “historic” wage hikes and other concessions.

Los Angeles, meanwhile, has pushed to open more hotels in the city amid a period of record tourist spending nationwide. Hotel operators in L.A. have enjoyed high occupancy rates and developers have scrambled to build properties to accommodate demand. Developers are looking to bring up to 30,000 hotel rooms online in the next few years.

Unite Here Local 11 is fighting a planned 120-key hotel in Pico-Union, claiming the developers failed to properly conduct an environmental impact study required by law. Such appeals are often used to put pressure on developers and operators who plan to employ non-union labor, or who have other disagreements with a relevant labor union, experts said. [LAT]Dennis Lynch

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