Los Angeles – Hospitality workers – room attendants, cooks and servers who are the backbone of the region’s tourism industry – not only are exceptionally vulnerable to the pernicious health consequences of this epidemic, but also confront unprecedented economic insecurity because of massive industry-wide layoffs and displacement.
UNITE HERE Local 11 calls on the City of Los Angeles to enact emergency legislation to enhance health protections for guests and workers and prevent destabilization of the tourism sector. The Union has called for suspension of rent increases and evictions for tourism workers, along with a set of initiatives to protect the most impacted and vulnerable workers.
- PREVENTION: HANDWASHING AND DEEP CLEANING
- Provide all hotel, stadium, and airport employees at least an additional paid 30 minutes per 8-hour shift for handwashing.
- Reduce workload for room attendants in hotels to provide extra time to meet Centers for Disease Control cleaning standards.
- TRAINING: CENTRALIZE PUBLIC HEALTH TRAINING FOR HOSPITALITY WORKERS
- Mandate uniform and regular public health training by a non-profit authority not controlled by employers for room attendants, dishwashers, and cooks.
- PROVIDE RIGHT TO RETURN TO WORK FOR ALL DISPLACED WORKERS
- Protect workers with fair layoff and recall procedures to guarantee jobs to displaced workers when crisis subsides.
- Adopt a “just cause” firing provision to prevent unscrupulous managers from trumping up reasons to permanently fire workers.
- Expand city’s worker retention policy that protects workers from impacts of hotel closures and subcontracting to entire city.
- ENFORCE THE CITY’S SHORT-TERM RENTAL LAW
- All public health regulations in the tourism industry are undermined by the estimated 30,000 short term rentals in Los Angeles that operate without adequate health or safety protections. Throughout the city, entire buildings have been converted to illegal hotels. For the sake of public health, the city should close all illegal, unregulated short-term rentals.
“Our members have built the tourism industry. Los Angeles has an obligation to protect them and their families from extraordinary threats to their health and their livelihoods,” urges Co-President Kurt Petersen. “This legislation will help ensure that when this crisis ends hotel, stadium and airport workers will return to their jobs healthy and housed.”