Last November 64% of Long Beach city residents had voted in favor of Measure N that requires Long Beach hotels with more than 100 rooms to pay their employees at least $13 an hour even though the minimum wage in California is $8.
Right before the new minimum wage for Long Beach hotels goes into effect, Best Western Golden Sails Hotel that has 170 rooms told their 75 employees that they all will be laid off by Saturday , December 15, 2012. The employees were also told that the hotel will be downsizing and it will be reopened under a new management. Some of the employees will be rehired but as this Saturday all employees are considered terminated and are eligible for $1000 severance package.
Rosa Rivera , a 20 - year employee at the Best Western cries outside of the hotel. Mrs. Rivera said that she does not know why she was laid off and how she will pay her rent and bills without a job. Carmen Pena, a 9 - year employee said that because she was fired her children will not have Christmas presents this year. "I don't know why I was fired, Pena added crying.
In response to this injustice, employees of Best Western hotel, Unite Here, Local 11 group and about a 100 Long Beach residents/ activists, gathered together to protest Hotel's immoral practices. California State Senator Ricardo Lara and four Long Beach City Council members, Patric O'Donnell, Steve Neal, Al Austin and Suja Lowenthal joined the protesters this morning. The city officials addressed the crowd at the press conference pointing out Hotel's immoral , anti - American and anti - Democratic practices.
State and city officials arrive at Best Western Golden Sail Hotel to support hotel's employees. From left to right: Long Beach Council 4th district Patrick O' Donnell, California State Senator Ricardo Lara, Long Beach Council 9th district Steven Neal, Long Beach Council 8th district Al Austin and Long Beach Council 2nd district Suja Lowenthal.
Rosa Rivera, a 20 - year employee speaks at the press conference outside Best Western Golden Sails Hotel. Rivera said "I don't know why I was fired, I was working hard for 20 years and the way I was fired was unfair". Rivera added crying " I don't know what I am going to do without my job".
California State Senator Ricardo Lara and Long Beach City Council members Al Austin and Steven Neal speak to a desk manager at Beast Western Hotel, Donald Witz. The city officials asked to meet and speak to Hotel's general manager , Matthew Daniel. Mr. Witz told them that general manager was not here and he does not know how to get in touch with him.
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