April 24, 2024

Major win at Los Angeles’ largest hotel, ahead of major industry strike

More than 15,000 hotel workers of Los Angeles, working in 62 hotels throughout the city, are going on strike on the 4th of July, the anniversary of the USA’s independence, demanding the signing of a Collective Agreement with wage increases, health care, safe and humane working conditions .

On the eve of the industry’s major strike, the hotel workers of the largest hotel in Los Angeles, Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites, achieved a historic victory with their struggle.

With their organized, militant and unwavering attitude, the 600 employees of all specialties of the hotel forced the employer of the Marriot group to sign a Collective Agreement with unprecedented wage increases.

The workers also won a new agreement on medical care for themselves and their families, but also an increase in the employer’s contribution to their pension fund. They also achieved the abolition of all “emergency measures” in working hours and conditions that had been imposed under the pretext of the pandemic.

The Collective Agreement also includes a series of other measures, such as the right to use their mother tongue [right to speak their native language], the granting of the right to union organization, the abolition of electronic surveillance in the workplace.

“With these big raises, I will no longer have to choose between paying rent or buying food for my family,” said Nancy Cerrato, the hotel’s general cleaner. “Now we will be able to live in the city where we work,” he said, also highlighting the issue of the unaffordable increase in rents in Los Angeles, which has forced thousands of workers to live far from their place of work.

Members of the UNITE HERE Local 11 union, of hotel workers, describe the signing of the Collective Agreement as a triumph, stressing that it can act as an “avalanche” for the signing of similar agreements in other workplaces.

Thousands of workers in competitive mobility

At the same time, thousands of other workers in the USA are on the move, facing low wages, the significant increase in the cost of living, and the bad conditions of intensive and overtime work.

On 6/22, around 6,000 workers went on strike at the Spirit AeroSystems factory in Kansas , which supplies important spare parts to Boeing airplanes. It was preceded by a decision with an overwhelming majority (85%) in favor of going on strike by the members of the union International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. The employer had rejected a proposal for substantial increases in wages and benefits, improvement of working conditions, etc.

Also, a few days ago, 3,000 workers of the Starbucks restaurant chain went on strike , with similar demands, as well as 1,400 workers at the Erie plant in Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania, members of the United Electrical Workers union.

In addition, for several days now drivers, distributors and other specialties of workers who work for Amazon have been on strike, in cooperation with the California Teamsters union, demanding decent wages and insurance rights, as well as humane working conditions, without compromising health and their lives corona – letters while working in bad weather conditions.

Shaw Fein, head of the United Auto Workers Union (UAW), announced in a post that the union is ready to go on strike ahead of upcoming negotiations with representatives of Detroit’s three major automakers, Ford, General Motors (GM) and Stellantis. These three industries in the past decade have made huge profits while workers struggle to survive. “Now is the time to put things right,” he said.

From the CWPUSA, we express our support and solidarity with the struggles of the workers!

*Note: Article originally published in the June 1-2 2023 issue of ‘Rizospastis’, the organ of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Central Committee.