Victory at Last: Hotel workers reflect on contract victory (2005)

For 14 months during 2004-2005, UNITE HERE Local 11 mounted an assertive campaign to win a contract with employers represented by the Los Angeles Hotel Employers Council. Building on the union’s rank-and-file strategy, hotel workers organized repeated delegations to articulate their demands to hotel management. The union also mobilized community allies and the labor movement in boycotts and public demonstrations. In addition to wage and benefit demands, the union called for a contract that would expire in the fall of 2006, bringing Los Angeles into alignment with other major cities in the U.S. and Canada. According to Local 11 secretary-treasurer Tom Walsh, “having common contract expirations gives us the opportunity to speak to the same companies that operate all across the country at the same time as other unions are negotiating.” An agreement between the union and employers was brokered by mayor-elect Antonio Villaraigosa shortly before employers were set to lock out 2,500 workers. This short film produced for Local 11 features interviews with union members and leaders as well as scenes from delegations and demonstrations during 2004-05.

O’Dell, John. “Union, Hotels Avert Strike, Lockout; In Two Late City Hall Sessions, Villaraigosa Acts as Go-between to Achieve a Tentative Pact. Both Sides Anticipate Ratification This Week.: [HOME EDITION].” Los Angeles Times; Los Angeles, Calif., June 12, 2005, sec. California Metro; Part B; Metro Desk.