We had a server outage, and we're rebuilding the site. Most of the site features won't work. Thank you for your patience.
imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Sunday Evening Demonstration at Loew's Hotel

by IMC Print/By Jennifer Bleyer Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2000 at 12:27 PM

Hotel workers & supporters rallied for their right to organize before the Democratic visitors at the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel on Sunday. Loews has resisted workers attempts to organize.

error While Democratic visitors inside the posh Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel gussied themselves up for Sunday evenings events, dozens of hotel workers and hundreds of supporters rallied outside the hotel for their right to organize. Taking advantage of this weeks national spotlight on Los Angeles to publicize their struggle, the rally, which was sponsored by the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union, Local 814, included appearances by Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone, AFL-CIO President John Sweeney, and Rev. Jesse Jackson.

Attempts to organize Loews three hundred low-income workers took off last year after a contentious labor dispute with another luxury Santa Monica hotel, the Fairmont Miramar, was settled. The Loews workers formed an organizing committee which went public on May 25, 2000 with a rally and a campaign to educate fellow workers about the benefits of a union. Loews immediately clamped down on their efforts.

According to workers, they were subjected to relentless threats and intimidation by the management aimed at deterring them from unionizing. The hotel hired union-busting firm Cruz & Associates, which had previously led the anti-union campaign at the Fairmont Miramar, and held meetings in which workers were forced to listen to anti-union admonishments. Workers who spoke at the rally said they were forbidden from talking about wages amongst each other, and from wearing pro-union buttons. HERE has filed 22 charges against Loews alleging violations of labor law, and the workers have remained steadfast in their organizing efforts.

Sundays rally was a peaceful affair heightened with gospel singing and upbeat chants of Si se puede, or yes we can. Mothers brought their children, and all of the speeches were translated into Spanish. Rally organizers made it clear through flyers and announcements that they were not calling for a boycott of Loews Hotel during the convention, but rather asking hotel guests to support the workers by wearing buttons and signing an Open Letter to Loews Hotel Corporation.

The only threatening aspect of the rally, in fact, was its outlandish police presence. Standing blockade-style in front of Loews pristine landscaping and circular valet drive was a row of police officers in full riot gear, their helmet covers down and their batons in hand. Mounted police hemmed in the rally with their horses, and a handful of men with dark sunglasses and earpieces stood silent amidst the crowd.

Senator Paul Wellstone cited his own history of defending immigrant workers in Minnesota, and earned exuberant applause when he announced an amendment he plans to add to the highly controversial China trade bill which would enforce workers rights to organize. California Attorney General Bill Lockyer spoke as well, denouncing Loews union-busting tactics.

AFL-CIO President John Sweeney focused on the glaring social stratification between the class of people who own and patronize Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel, and the workers who keep it running. Behind me you see great wealth and great beauty. People are relaxing in the sunshine, eating, drinking and enjoying life. Meanwhile, behind the glitz of this hotel, there are other people cleaning toilets, washing dishes and making beds, he said. How can a hotel rent a room for $250 a night and pay workers five dollars to clean that room? This company has no dignity, this conglomerate knows no shame.

The conglomerate to which Sweeney referred was the hotels parent company, Loews Corporation, which also owns Diamond Offshore Drilling, one of the worlds largest offshore oil drilling companies, and Lorillard Inc., the manufacturer of Newport cigarettes. Another corporate link which contributed to the timing of yesterdays rally is the fact that Loews Hotels CEO Jonathan Tisch is a major contributor to Vice President Gores presidential campaign and, rumor has it, is the designated chair of his inaugural committee. Fellow Democrats asserted that Tisch should immediately end the dispute between the hotel and its workers in accordance with Democratic pro-labor principles.

Not all Loews workers are behind the organizing effort. While Rev. Jesse Jackson spoke, about fifteen hotel employees stood behind holding handwritten cardboard signs that read We dont want a union! and chanting their dissent with their co-workers.

Blanca Esquival, a room service operator at Loews for four years, was adamant in her opposition to the union. Im good enough to speak for myself, I dont need to pay thirty dollars for someone I dont know to do it for me, she said. These people dont care about us. Look, theyre upsetting our guests and we have to answer to them because of it.

Members of the Loews organizing committee claimed that these workers were family members of the hotels managers who had been set up to counter-protest, and did not represent the majority of workers sentiments.

The conflict at Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel is part of a much larger politicized struggle in the area. Santa Monicas tourist industry has only boomed in the last yen years, now employing three thousand low-wage workers in its designated tourist zone. Beginning in 1998, an alliance of Santa Monicans formed to study and formulate a living wage platform on behalf of the workers. The Santa Monica Living Wage Coalitions platform provided, among other things, that companies of fifty or more within the coastal zone pay employees a living wage of $10.69 per hour. They sent their platform to the City Council for review, and received a sympathetic response.

In retaliation, the luxury hotels of Santa Monica formed the deceptively named Santa Monicans for a Living Wage, and spent more than $400,000 to put a measure on Novembers ballot that would provide nominal pay increases to only 200 workers, none of them from the hotel industry, and prevent the City Countil from enacting the Santa Monica Living Wage Coalitions platform.

Vivian Rothstein, a member of the steering committee which supported the original platform, noted that the phony wage initiative being pumped by the hotel industry is having an effect. They have a very slick PR campaign, Rothstein said. Theyve sent out multiple mailings and just took out a $70,000 ad in the L.A. Times. Theyre defusing attention from the heart of their initiative, which is that it would permanently prevent City Council from ever passing a real living wage law.

Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel has been spearheading the phony wage initiative, investing $125,000 in the effort which is more than any other single hotels contribution. As the sun set over Loews yesterday evening, however, it seemed that the tides may soon change.
Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments

Local News

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 10:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 9:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 8:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 8:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 11:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 8:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A27 5:37AM


lausd whistle blower A11 6:58AM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

test O06 10:01AM

test O06 9:59AM

test O06 9:59AM

100 Ways GOP Have Stolen Elections Since 1876 O06 12:03AM

Proximospective de l'univocité réifiée O05 6:27AM

“Kava-no!!!” O04 6:42PM

Trump & Palestine vs. Genesis, Rashi & The Land of Israel O03 6:29PM

The Criminality of the Elites O03 11:35AM

Business de l'inhumanitaire O03 7:51AM

Marriage Rape/Date Rape Highest Rapes O02 2:59PM

Women I Know Get Raped - Too Many Times To Count! O02 2:55PM

Women In USA Have Stockholm Syndrom O02 2:50PM

Shooting Drill's Are Political Actual Shootings O02 2:47PM

Dr. Ford's Father Works With CIA O02 2:44PM

Weaponizing Frequencies O02 2:41PM

Google Abuses: Worldwide Spying, Censorship, War Promotion, Spying On Children, Etc O02 11:08AM

Paraphysique de l'administration O02 8:34AM

Paraphysique O02 8:31AM

Affordable Rents? A State of Emergency Intensifies O01 11:36AM

A Few Of Many Impeachable Acts by Trump Sessions And Others O01 4:41AM

Désengrammation, l'éloge de la suite S30 7:01AM

someone Should Work In Hollywood - Good Acting! S28 2:55PM

Ford Gives Psych Drugs To Lower Class To Shut Them Up? S28 2:51PM

Hilllary Calls Ford Trailer Trash? S28 2:47PM

Most Rapes Are In Marriages S28 2:43PM

Nice Boys Dirty Deeds S28 2:41PM

Minnesota 2nd Largest Rape State S28 2:39PM

Paraphysique de la plus-value S28 7:18AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy