DA to Investigate Hotels Hiring Homeless Refugees to Replace Striking Workers

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DA to Investigate Hotels Hiring Homeless Refugees to Replace Striking Workers

Hotel workers march in the streets of downtown Los Angeles on Oct. 25, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Jill McLaughlin

Jill McLaughlin

10/25/2023

Updated: 12/30/2023

Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón has launched an investigation into labor practices at some hotels in the county accused of hiring homeless refugees to replace striking workers, his office announced Oct. 23.
Unite Here Local 11, representing 32,000 hotel workers in Southern California and Arizona on strike since July 4, reported the alleged practice to Mr. Gascón, according to the union.
The union shared concerns about the homeless refugees, particularly from Venezuela, who were allegedly hired by the hotels in the housekeeping departments, according to the district attorney’s office.
“We take these egregious allegations with the utmost seriousness,” Mr. Gascón said in a statement posted on Facebook, also Oct. 23. He also held a press conference in front of Le Meridien Delfina Hotel in Santa Monica, one of the locations reportedly using unhoused migrants as replacement workers, according to Unite Here Local 11.
The district attorney promised to work closely with the union and other stakeholders to ensure strict compliance with labor laws and to protect the rights and dignity of all workers, according to his statement.
“We want to make sure that our community understands there will be no tolerance for the exploitation of refugees,” Mr. Gascón said.
Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon speaks at a press conference in Los Angeles, on Dec. 8, 2021. (Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images)

Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon speaks at a press conference in Los Angeles, on Dec. 8, 2021. (Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images)

According to the district attorney’s office, the investigation will examine hiring practices of hotels in Santa Monica and Los Angeles, with a focus on the employment of homeless refugees.
The investigation will also look at the circumstances surrounding the transportation of the workers including claims that some were dropped off in Los Angeles by Texas’s Gov. Greg Abbot, Mr. Gascón’s office said in the statement.
Texas sent its 20th busload of migrants to Los Angeles Oct. 1., according to reports.
In all, the state has bused over 60,000 migrants to sanctuary cities to relieve overwhelmed border towns in the state, Mr. Abbott said in a post on X, formerly Twitter.
Unite Here Local 11 said it was thankful for the investigation.
“Thank you to District Attorney Gascón’s leadership on this issue,” the union said in a statement posted by Mr. Gascón’s office on his social media account. “We will not stand by while that happens, our union is committed to continue fighting for all workers.”
Hotel workers march in the streets of downtown Los Angeles on Oct. 25, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Hotel workers march in the streets of downtown Los Angeles on Oct. 25, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Jill McLaughlin

Jill McLaughlin

Author

Jill McLaughlin is an award-winning journalist covering politics, environment, and statewide issues. She has been a reporter and editor for newspapers in Oregon, Nevada, and New Mexico. Jill was born in Yosemite National Park and enjoys the majestic outdoors, traveling, golfing, and hiking.

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