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Beverly Hills Sues Striking Hotel Workers Union After Noise Complaints

Beverly Hills Sues Striking Hotel Workers Union After Noise Complaints

Hotel workers with Unite Here Local 11 picket outside the InterContinental hotel on the first day of a strike by union members at many major hotels in Southern California, in Los Angeles, on July 2, 2023. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

City News Service

City News Service

8/15/2023

Updated: 8/17/2023

The city of Beverly Hills, California, sued a union on Aug. 15 that represents striking hotel workers, alleging their early-morning protests outside two hotels being picketed in the ongoing labor dispute have drawn noise complaints from nearby residents.
The Los Angeles Superior Court public nuisance complaint targets Unite Here! Local 11 and seeks a court order directing demonstrators to limit their protests to 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. The suit maintains the protesters are using drums and bullhorns and have started as early as 5:30 a.m. outside the Beverly Hilton and Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills.
Nearby residents also have reported whistles being blown, shouting, and screaming from the area of Wilshire and Santa Monica boulevards, the suit states. When Beverly Hills police investigated, the protesters refused to identify themselves except for union representatives, including Lorena Lopez, the suit states.
A Unite Here! representative did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
On July 24, City Manager Nancy Hunt-Coffey spoke with another union leader named Sol and told her the drums were disturbing residents across the street, including children of some families who were home for the summer, the suit states. When Ms. Hunt-Coffey asked Sol to delay demonstrations until 8 a.m. and to cease the drum beating, Sol replied, “Yeah, yeah, yeah,” which the city manager thought meant that Sol agreed to comply, the suit states.
Two days later, Beverly Hills Police Department Capt. Giovanni Trejo went to the area and spoke with Ms. Lopez, requesting her to cease the protest noise before 8 a.m., the suit states.
“She indicated she would consider the request, but did not commit to complying,” according to the complaint.
That same day, police responded to complaints from Beverly Hilton staff and security of aggressive confrontations, bullhorns blown in ears, blocked traffic, and up-close screaming, the suit states. The next day, protesters allegedly broke through a barrier and injured a security guard, the suit alleges.
The demonstrations have continued with individuals still arriving as early as 5:30 a.m. and continuing to use drums and bullhorns, according to the suit.
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