L.A. hotel strikes: Union files NLRB charge over violence

The union representing striking hotel workers in Los Angeles on Monday filed an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board over violence it says workers and organizers have experienced as they protest and fight for new contracts.

Thousands of hospitality workers have been on strike throughout the area since early July after union contracts expired at dozens of hotels, asking for higher wages and better benefits.

Unite Here Local 11 on Saturday posted a video on X, the social network formerly known as Twitter, showing people who appear to be security guards for Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows in Santa Monica, Calif., tackling picketers at the hotel.

The union in its filing referred to that incident plus another incident on the same day at Hotel Maya, a Hilton
property in Long Beach, Calif. During that incident, the union said “a guest ran around the fence and punched a worker in the head” as hotel personnel “sought to forcibly relocate striking workers using a chain link fence.”

The union also said the chef at the Laguna Cliffs Marriott
Resort & Spa’s Knife Modern Steak Restaurant in Dana Point, Calif., John Tesar, last week broke a striking workers’ drum, told workers to “take your union and shove it up your [expletive],” called them lazy, and more.

“Within the past six months, the [employers] have violated Section 8(a)(1) of the [National Labor Relations] Act by committing and/or condoning violence against employees in response to employees’ concerted protected activities,” Unite Here Local 11 said in its filing, which names the hotels’ coordinated bargaining group and the owners and operators of the three aforementioned hotels.

The three hotels’ owners and operators did not immediately return requests for comment Monday. Tesar, the chef, did not immediately return a request for comment.

Pete Hillan, a spokesperson for the California Hotel & Lodging Association, said Monday that “union representatives are blaring sirens and alarms at odd hours that not only disturb the peace and neighboring residents but also clearly create a safety risk.  In addition, as you saw on the video at the Fairmont, union representatives are kicking over barricades intended to maintain safety and order.” Hillan said the hotels have asked police to “ensure the safety of all.”

The Santa Monica Police Department, which was called to the incident shown on video on Saturday, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

See: Actors, writers, hotel housekeepers and grad-student workers are all striking for the same reason

Also: As Hollywood strikes continue, unions call out excessive CEO pay

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