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    Anaheim ‘hospitality worker bill of rights’ heads to city leaders
    • May 3, 2023

    A union seeking higher wages and workplace protections for Anaheim hotel and event center workers is ready to place a “hospitality worker bill of rights” ordinance before the city council for a vote.

    The city’s mostly non-union hospitality workers gathered more than 26,000 valid signatures for the UNITE HERE Local 11-led initiative — far more than the 16,643 that were needed. The city council is tentatively scheduled to consider the measure on May 16.

    The council will have the option of adopting the ordinance, sending it back for economic review or denying it. If it opts to deny the ordinance, the measure will be placed before voters as a ballot initiative.

    SEE MORE: Hotel workers to rally for higher pay, better working conditions

    Los Angeles, Long Beach, Santa Monica, Glendale and West Hollywood have adopted similar hospitality ordinances in recent years, while Irvine became the first Orange County city to do so in 2022.

    If passed by the City Council, the ordinance would provide:

    Panic buttons with a security guard on call, mandatory training and security protocols to protect hotel housekeepers from sexual assault and threatening conduct by guests and others
    Fair pay when housekeepers are assigned heavy workloads and a prohibition on mandatory overtime after 10 hours
    A $25 minimum wage for hotel housekeepers and other hotel and event center workers with an annual increase in wage to reflect the cost of living
    Protections ensuring workers are retained when new owners or operators take over

    The push to adopt the ordinance comes as workers across the hospitality sector say they have been forced to perform increasingly burdensome workloads without fair pay as business returns to pre-pandemic levels.

    RELATED: Long Beach hotel workers hail $4-an-hour pay hike in new contract

    At the same time, the hotel industry’s profits are soaring as pricing for hotel rooms exceeds the rate of inflation, the union said, and the industry’s revenue per room has surpassed pre-pandemic levels.

    Inflation’s sting

    Unite Here Local 11 represents a small portion of the city’s hospitality workers and many of the non-unionized employees are hurting, union co-President Ada Briceno said.

    “Many of them are couch surfing or living in their cars,” she said. “They are one paycheck away from homelessness. They are really getting squeezed right now.”

    SEE MORE: Janitors say they’re understaffed, overworked at Irvine Co.-owned properties

    Unionized hospitality workers who feel their existing benefits are superior can have their labor contract supersede the ordinance, the union said.

    If the law is approved by Anaheim’s city Council, hospitality workers who make beds, cook meals, serve coffee, wash dishes and cater to the thousands of guests who travel to Anaheim’s tourist attractions such as Disneyland and the Honda Center could afford to live in the city where they work, Briceno said.

    Irayda Torrez, who has worked as a housekeeper at the Hilton Anaheim hotel for 33 years, applauded the measure.

    “I want Anaheim to know that all hotel workers have the right to protections and fair pay for heavy workloads,” Torrez said in a statement. “Housekeepers want to feel respected by having fair pay for our hard work and a wage that accounts for the rising cost of living.”

    Related links

    Disney security workers getting $8 an hour raise in new contract
    Long Beach hotel workers hail $4-an-hour pay hike in new contract
    Grocery workers rally in opposition of Kroger/Albertsons ‘mega-merger’
    Healthcare workers holding rallies statewide to protest low staffing
    Papa John’s workers picket after sudden store closure, layoffs

    ​ Orange County Register