CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 9, 2013 |
For decades, Long Beach hotel workers fought for better wages. But their efforts to start unions mostly fizzled. So last year, union backers tried something new: a ballot measure. Voters swiftly gave them what years of picket lines and union-card drives had failed to secure - a $13-per-hour minimum wage for hundreds of Long Beach hotel workers. A similar shift happened in San Jose, where voters in November awarded workers a higher minimum wage not just in hotels, but citywide.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 15, 2012 |
A week before a new minimum wage for Long Beach hotels goes into effect, a large, marina-area hotel has told all of its employees - 75 people - that they will be laid off, according to union representatives. But in a confrontation with union activists at the hotel Friday, a man who identified himself as the manager of the 175-room Best Western Golden Sails denied that the ballot measure triggered the cuts, saying bad economic conditions were to blame. When he walked away, the protesters followed him through the hotel chanting "Si se puede.
May 15, 2012 |
Temporary workers are often in high demand in a shaky economy. Businesses aren't yet ready to commit to full-time employees, especially when an economic recovery is far from certain. But in the latest recession and recovery, temporary workers seem even more prevalent than usual. Employment in temporary services grew 8.7% from April of last year to the same month this year, compared with just a 3.5% gain for the broader category of professional and business services over the same period.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 4, 2012 |
The Los Angeles City Council is considering granting economic incentives to the local hotel industry to encourage modernization projects and better pay for workers. In a motion introduced on Tuesday, the council agreed to ask several city departments for reports on how "public benefits" and other incentives could be used to help strengthen the local tourism industry, which the motion said is "lagging behind where it can be. " Hotels, the measure said, are aging and falling behind in energy efficiency, and hotel workers are largely "underpaid and overworked.
February 8, 2012 |
New York hotel operators and their employees tentatively agreed to a new contract that will bring workers lucrative pay raises, full paid benefits, and sizable pension contributions. All that -- and a personal panic button. In the wake of a hotel sexual assault scandal surrounding French politician Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Lisa Linden, a spokeswoman for the Hotel Assn. of New York City , said there was “joint recognition” that hotel workers need protection. “It's something that has certainly been talked about for some time,” Linden said, adding that the Strauss-Kahn situation in New York “heightened the awareness of the issue.” John Turchiano, a spokesman for the New York Hotel Trades Council, said that over the years there have been problems with hotel guests acting inappropriately.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 17, 2011 |
Vanessa Bryant filed for divorce Friday from Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, signaling the end of a decade-long marriage during which she stood by his side through allegations of sexual assault and admission of an extramarital affair. In the petition filed in Orange County Superior Court, Vanessa Bryant cited "irreconcilable differences" as the reason for the divorce. In what appears to be an effort to keep the details of their split out of the public eye, the couple said in a joint statement late Friday that they had "resolved all issues incident to their divorce privately.
December 9, 2011 |
Ending a four-year dispute, Disneyland Resort in Anaheim has reached a five-year contract agreement with 2,100 hotel workers. The contract, which covers housekeepers, food and beverage workers, front-desk staff and other hourly workers at the Disneyland Hotel, the Grand Californian Hotel and the Paradise Pier Hotel, includes wage increases and a decreased workload for housekeepers. Negotiations had bogged down recently over healthcare cost increases in Disneyland's proposed contracts.
September 5, 2011 |
This has been a hard couple years — on top of a hard era — for organized labor. The percentage of American workers who belong to a union has continued its long slide, dropping from 12.3% in 2009 to 11.9% in 2010. Those numbers are even starker if viewed through a longer lens: In 1983, more than 1 in 5 American workers was a member of a union; today it's barely half that. Moreover, while those numbers testify to the eroding faith many Americans have in organized labor to represent their interests — as well as the cunning tactics of employers to thwart organizing — they do not capture this year's singular, highly ideological rage.
August 2, 2011 |
Some hotel guests may be getting a better night's sleep these days, but at the expense of the housekeepers who clean their rooms. In what has been called an "amenities arms race," many hotels now use luxury mattresses that weigh more than 100 pounds each. Multiply those 100 pounds by the 16 to 25 beds the typical housekeeper must make up daily. Add to that the extra pillows to be fluffed, thick duvets and decorative bed skirts to be changed, all without any reduction in the number of rooms each worker is required to clean.
May 15, 2011 |
Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the head of the International Monetary Fund, was hauled off a flight about to leave JFK airport for Paris on Saturday and arrested on allegations he sexually assaulted a maid in a Times Square-area hotel, a police spokesman said. Strauss-Kahn, who is also an important figure in French politics, was taken to the Harlem headquarters of the Manhattan Special Victims Unit, which investigates rape and other sex crimes. He was charged with committing a criminal sexual act, attempted rape and unlawful imprisonment in connection with a sexual assault on a chambermaid in the luxury suite of a midtown Manhattan hotel, said Paul Browne, deputy New York City police commissioner.