PASADENA, Calif.—Cooks, room attendants, and other workers at the Hilton Pasadena and Hyatt Place Pasadena hotels walked off the job at dawn Dec. 31 as Pasadena gets ready to host the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game on New Year’s Day, union officials said.
Workers across Los Angeles hotels have been engaged in ongoing labor disputes with employers since July, in what the Unite Here Local 11 union calls the largest hotel worker strike in modern history.
The workers’ primary goals include wage increases to keep pace with the soaring cost of housing in Los Angeles, quality and affordable health insurance, and humane workloads, according to Unite Here Local 11, which staged walkouts at hotels across Southern California and Arizona over the summer.
A representatives for Aimbridge Hospitality, operator of the Hilton Pasadena, said, “We are continuing conversations with the union and remain focused on reaching an agreement that puts our associates and their best interests at the center.”
Joseph Co, general manager at Hyatt Place Pasadena, released the following statement to City News Service on Sunday: “Hyatt Place Pasadena is aware of strike plans by Unite Here Local 11 over New Year’s Eve weekend and during the Rose Parade in Pasadena.
“Hyatt Place Pasadena has actively been engaged in talks with the union leading up to the expiration of the union contract on June 30. ... Hyatt Place Pasadena continues to make every effort to negotiate with Unite Here Local 11 but they have refused to meet.”
Visitors to both events in Pasadena were being encouraged to avoid crossing the picket lines.
Lisa Derderian, spokeswoman for the city of Pasadena, said in a statement to City News Service: “We have been and will continue to work with the unions on safe and lawful ways in which they can express their rights to free speech and demonstrations.
“Public safety is our priority and it’s our obligation to protect the health and safety and well-being of our community. ... We hope any groups who have negative intent understand and respect the law and allow for an enjoyable experience for the thousands of visitors who are in town.”
Unite Here says the strike comes after numerous tentative contract agreements were reached across Los Angeles and Orange County. Major Marriott and Hilton properties across Southern California, such the JW Marriott and Hilton Irvine, reached agreements with their workers in the past month.
The workers, also including dishwashers, servers, bellmen, and front desk agents, planned to conduct a New Year’s Eve parade of their own beginning at 6 p.m. at the Hilton Pasadena, according to the labor union.
Unite Here Local 11 represents more than 32,000 hospitality workers in Southern California and Arizona who are employed in hotels, restaurants, universities, convention centers, and airports.