For Immediate Release
September 12, 2012
Non-Union Hotel Workers to Strike at Hotel Owned by LA County Employee Pension Fund
Striking workers and pension beneficiaries to attend LACERA board meeting Wednesday in Pasadena; Call on pension board to fix labor problems at Embassy Suites Hotel
Workers at the non-union Embassy Suites Irvine, a hotel owned by the Los Angeles County Employee Pension Fund, are planning to strike today, September 12, and travel to the LACERA board meeting seeking a resolution to two-year long labor dispute over horrible working conditions.
The simmering labor dispute erupted on Sept. 1 when LACERA's fund management firm, Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers, brought in a new hotel management company that started threating to fire workers who didn't take off their union buttons. New managers have issued 40 disciplinary notices in 10 days. UNITE HERE Local 11 filed a charge with the National Labor Relations Board, alleging a violation of workers' rights to wear union buttons under federal labor law.
On Wednesday, striking workers will travel to speak at LACERA's monthly meeting in Pasadena, joined by SEIU 721 members, who pension money has been invested in this sweatshop hotel. Pension beneficiaries from SEIU 721 will discuss the effect of the worker-called hotel boycott. UNITE HERE Local 11 estimates that business moved out of the hotel in the wake of the boycott represents at least $2.1 million in revenues that would have stayed at the Embassy Suites if those customers had remained at the hotel.