For the record:
5:00 p.m. Oct. 25, 2023: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified the date of the last bargaining session held between hotels and Unite Here Local 11. The session was held Oct. 19.
Unite Here Local 11, the union representing hotel workers in Southern California who have been striking on and off for nearly four months, said it has reached a tentative agreement with Loews Hollywood.
The deal came as workers at five properties scattered across Pasadena, Long Beach, San Pedro and Dana Point walked off the job Monday, kicking off the latest burst of strikes. The work stoppage was planned after a bargaining session on Thursday went poorly, union spokesperson Maria Hernandez said.
Loews Hollywood, which employs 300 union members, is the third Southern California property with which the union has struck a deal. The first was the Westin Bonaventure, which reached a tentative deal just as contracts were set to expire June 30 for more than 15,000 hotel workers at some 60 properties in Los Angeles and Orange counties. The second was the Biltmore in downtown L.A.'s financial district, which announced a deal last month.
“Our team members are at the core of what makes Loews the company it is,” Vincent Piro, managing director at the Loews Hollywood, said in a prepared statement shared by the union. “We are thrilled to be in agreement with our partners at Unite Here Local 11 and look forward to continuing to deliver exceptional experiences for our guests, fellow team members and neighbors.”
Kurt Petersen, co-president of Unite Here Local 11, said in a prepared statement that the three hotels the union has struck agreements with are among the largest hotels in L.A.
"It is time for the rest of the industry to share their prosperity with their workers," Petersen said.
For all three hotels, the union said the agreements provide for higher pay and benefits, as well as improved healthcare, more robust staffing, pension increases and more inclusive hiring procedures for formerly incarcerated people and immigrants — but has declined to give specifics about wages and other economic details of the agreements. Unionized workers have not yet held votes to ratify the contracts.
Contract negotiations between the union and a group of hotels ended Oct. 19 without resolution.
Keith Grossman, an attorney representing the group of more than 40 Southern California hotel owners and operators — reached for comment last week about the practice of hiring homeless migrants as replacement workers at hotels where employees are striking — said concerns the union raised appeared to be "another red herring."
Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. George Gascón on Monday announced he would launch an investigation into working conditions for migrants hired at hotels based on information brought to him by the union and reporting by The Times.
The union "seems more focused on continuing its intermittent work stoppages than listening to and delivering on what employees really want," Grossman wrote in an Oct. 18 email. "Employees are communicating but the Union is not listening – the % of employees crossing picket lines has steadily increased and at most hotels are now at levels at which unions would end all work stoppages and focus on getting a contract."
Reached Tuesday, Grossman said he couldn't immediately respond to questions about the Loews Hollywood settlement and the new walkouts.
Hernandez, the union spokesperson, said workers are planning a march in downtown L.A. on Wednesday in response to last week's failed negotiations and to protest the hiring of unhoused migrants as replacement workers. In a news release Tuesday, the union said the hotel group "did not meaningfully improve upon their prior position, offering no new money for wages, pension, or health insurance."
Here is where workers are currently on strike:
Hotel Maya DoubleTree by Hilton in Long Beach
Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa in Dana Point
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.