Local employees from The Montrose, The Grafton, The Chamberlain, and Le Parc Suites speak to you in open letter:

Dear Residents of West Hollywood, Mayor Lindsey P. Horvath, Councilmembers Sepi Shyne, John M. Erickson and John D’Amico, Mayor Pro Tem Lauren Meister, and City Manager David Wilson:

We are a group of local hotel staff members made up of housekeepers, housemen and front desk agents. Many of us have worked in West Hollywood hotels for decades and we are proud to be a part of this community that has sustained us and helped provide for our families. We are writing to you today with an important message regarding the Hotel Workers Ordinance set to come before City Council on July 19th.

While the pandemic has touched every business across West Hollywood, hotels suffered the most severe prolonged negative impact. Experts predict that hotels will take many years to fully recover, with some hotels likely never reopening again. Our industry is currently experiencing significant labor shortages for hotels that have reopened. Hotel workers are not returning to work from our recall lists, and hundreds of positions remain unfilled. Now is not the time to pass the burdensome Hotel Workers Ordinance, which will harm the very workers that the Ordinance claims to protect. Why are West Hollywood’s governmental leaders attacking the hotel industry instead of offering desperately needed help, like other cities?

West Hollywood’s hotels play a critical role in our community. We support apprenticeship and opportunity youth advancement programs for existing and future employees. We provide training and education for thousands of California workers. We support local charities, community groups, artists, and the disadvantaged. We do this passionately and voluntarily. We provide the same level of hospitality to our communities as we do for our associates and guests.

The proposed Ordinance will be significantly harmful to the earnings of hotel workers. The City Council received letters signed by our room attendants in West Hollywood stating their opposition to a square footage workload limitation. It reduces tip income, overtime wages, and incentive compensation. Our room attendants don’t understand why West Hollywood’s Leaders (predominately white) are constructing an Ordinance that targets them and slashes the income of female minorities. How can the Council take away their hard-earned money?

Because most hotels cannot pass on the additional costs triggered by the Ordinance to their guests, many hotels will be forced to cut services and jobs as they scramble to comply with the new job restrictions mandated by the Ordinance. That’s a concern for the City, and ultimately the West Hollywood community. Over time, the burdens created by the Ordinance will lead to hotel operators reducing the size and quality of their hotel rooms in West Hollywood. This will reduce tax revenue available for social programs while attracting a potentially lower-quality hotel guest to West Hollywood.

The proposed Ordinance will also make West Hollywood’s hotels less competitive than Beverly Hills and Los Angeles who don’t have the same burdensome 3,500 square feet cleaning restrictions. Since this Ordinance focuses on the square footage of a guestroom, a competitive advantage for West Hollywood will now be a disadvantage. The average hotel room in West Hollywood is 75% larger than an average room in Los Angeles and 40% larger than a room in Santa Monica but takes the same time to clean. It’s almost as if Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, and Santa Monica wrote this Ordinance to hurt West Hollywood’s hotels while helping their hotels and economies.

This Ordinance will also harm the environment. The new proposed cleaning protocols will cause all hotels to use more water, chemicals, and energy while increasing waste. Given the city’s progress towards sustainable initiatives in West Hollywood, why would it pass an Ordinance that damages the environment?

The hotel community supports many provisions in the Ordinance. We support fair living wages for all, temporary recall rights during this time of recovery, panic buttons, and other worker safety initiatives. In fact, the hotels in West Hollywood have publicly stated our support for all of these initiatives. But we cannot support the 3,500 square feet workload limitation given the destructive long-term impact this will have on full-time hotel workers, almost 100% of which are women and minorities.

Hotels fund almost half of the city’s budget through hotel, payroll, and related taxes to support the city’s spending and social programs – hotels are essential to the present and future of West Hollywood. We want to partner with residents and city leaders to create a better future for everyone in West Hollywood, with a particular focus on women, minorities, LGBTQ+, the homeless, and those with disabilities.

If we all agree that supporting hotel workers is essential, the answer to this problem is simple. The City should immediately reconsider its Ordinance and work with the hotel industry to protect hotel workers’ mental and financial well-being, especially as our industry attempts to recover from this crushing pandemic. We stand ready to partner in a constructive way to achieve these goals. We hope West Hollywood will join us.

Marta, Executive Housekeeper of The Montrose West Hollywood
Patricia, Housekeeping Supervisor of The Montrose West Hollywood
Tsedey, Front Office Manager of The Montrose West Hollywood
Jose, Executive Housekeeper of The Chamberlain West Hollywood
Jason, Hotel Manager of The Grafton on Sunset
Farhat, Executive Housekeeper of Le Parc Suites Hotel
Tony, Houseman at Le Parc Suites Hotel

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Randy
Randy
3 months ago

I’m not sure how I feel about the ordinance. A study definitely needs to take place.

I think the entire thing should be tabled, for at least a year. We are still recovering from COVID, and will be, for quite some time. I’m not even sure a study is going to be accurate, with the economic conditions the way they are.

CodyWarlock
CodyWarlock
3 months ago

Weho city council members are only interested in lining their pockets. Hotel owners are much more important to them than the workers.
kickbacks kickbacks and more kickbacks

Randy
Randy
3 months ago
Reply to  CodyWarlock

What kickbacks are you referring to? You think the unions are “lining their pockets?” Is that synonymous for you, as a campaign contribution?

Why don’t we all wait for a hotel study? Everyone acts like they are an expert on this. Lauren Meister does not. She admitted that, openly, in a Council meeting, and said a study needed to happen.

Gloria Vassy
3 months ago
Reply to  Randy

The studies done by city staffers are prepared by council beforehand telling them what to do. This is how they get their kickbacks, and staffers keep their jobs. Think people, think!!!!

WeBuiltThisCity
WeBuiltThisCity
3 months ago

Local 11 link – some of the things they are asking for are their jobs back and safer conditions for female employees: https://actionnetwork.org/letters/wehorising?source=direct_link&

Gimmeabreak
Gimmeabreak
3 months ago

My antenna go up when I see a “RichWhiteMan/PoorLatina” story attempting to manipulate my emotions to get my vote. The author of this story just set the bar a good deal higher to convince me. That tactic has been done waaaaay too many times and it doesn’t work on me anymore.

Michael Grace
Michael Grace
3 months ago
Reply to  Gimmeabreak

What vote?

Unless you are the five WEHO City Council members, you have no vote on this ordinance.

Since you won’t identify yourself, you’re probably one of the hotel managers. Whose CEOs are ordering no unionization in West Hollywood.

In New York City they would never do this because you can’t change a light bulb without a union.

Your comment actually sounds rather racist. Not a time to go with that pitch especially with Ed Buck on trial.

I don’t think the citizens of West Hollywood are racist. But the Chamber of Commerce certainly is!

Gimmeabreak
Gimmeabreak
3 months ago
Reply to  Michael Grace

I comment here on WeHoVille.com frequently and I assure you I haven’t seen the inside of a hotel in years.

If you hear racism in my comment you also see it in the rising of the sun.

Michael Grace
Michael Grace
3 months ago
Reply to  Gimmeabreak

If you haven’t been in a hotel in years, why would you be concerned about this issue? Oh, sorry, maybe you just stay now in Air Bnbs!

Gimmeabreak
Gimmeabreak
3 months ago
Reply to  Michael Grace

I was responding to your suggestion that I was probably commenting as a hotel manager. That’s why I said I haven’t been inside a hotel in years.

Get it now?

disgusted
disgusted
3 months ago
Reply to  Michael Grace

Those are a lot of public accusations! Maybe you are a racist? Takes one to know one!

Gloria Vassy
3 months ago
Reply to  Michael Grace

I love you.

Gloria Vassy
3 months ago
Reply to  Gimmeabreak

Giving you a break is giving city council a break.

Michael Grace
Michael Grace
3 months ago

Vote yes on the ordinance! In this anti-union “chamber of commerce” run town, they talk Democrat Party liberalism but they don’t walk the walk. All of these hotels are part of the Hotel Industrial Complex – former chains like Hilton – but no more. They are collected brands, headed by white male CEOs making millions of dollars, such as Marriott, Wyndham, Hyatt… etc. The La Peer is a Kimpton Hotel owned by Intercontinental with a CEO making $8 million a year. The Sunset Tower is owned by Jeff Klein – he and his husband, John Goldwyn, bought a $15 Million… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by Michael Grace
Jose
Jose
3 months ago
Reply to  Michael Grace

Thank you Michael!

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
3 months ago

If you look at these folks titles, it is clear they are part of management. As many hotels have made an economic decision to raise profits by cutting labor costs, in this case housekeepers, that decision was meant that the housekeeping staff that has been retained or re-hired are being forced to assume excessive work loads. The hotels who are engaging in this practice simply need to hire more housekeepers, which will not adversely impact the room rate, which by the way is currently sky rocketing. The City Council is only looking to insure that our hotels treat their most… Read more »

Patricia
Patricia
3 months ago

I don’t understand why they are forcing limits on hotel rooms that limits my overtime and ability to feed my family.

Frank
Frank
3 months ago
Reply to  Patricia

The problem is you are not being paid enough in the first place.

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
3 months ago
Reply to  Frank

Excessive use of overtime is a tactic being used to allow hotels to not hire back their former housekeepers.

JPM
JPM
3 months ago

The city council wants to tell the supermarkets how to run their business and the hotels how to run their business. Yet the business that they were elected to run is closed to the public.

Wehofan
Wehofan
3 months ago
Reply to  JPM

Exactly

WeHo Resident
WeHo Resident
3 months ago

Can somebody please explain why the city of West Hollywood is getting involved in this matter between hotels and their workers ?

Curious
Curious
3 months ago
Reply to  WeHo Resident

Horvath, Shyne and Erikson are beholden to labor unions. That’s the only reason. It will also help burnish their leftist credentials.

Moded00
Moded00
3 months ago

More management propaganda for Larry Block’s union busting crusade. Couldn’t find a group of employees who aren’t in management positions to ask them about how the ordinance will help them earn a living wage? Wehoville has become as fair and balanced as Fox News.

Larry Block
Admin
3 months ago
Reply to  Moded00

The Union is also welcome to submit their position. They have not replied to the email request. The question of fair and balanced would be – a) no public input prior to decision on ‘out on robertson’; b) no public input prior to letter to kuehl office from city staff about ‘mta homeless services center; c) no public input on ‘scooters’ prior to the relaunch; or d) no study session for the hotel worker ordinance. Yes, WEHOville has an agenda, and that is a fair public process that includes hearings prior to decisions being made and forced on residents and… Read more »

Bob
Bob
3 months ago
Reply to  Larry Block

Touche’. Your doing a great job.

Randy
Randy
3 months ago
Reply to  Larry Block

Larry, I’m a little confused about what you consider “public input.” I watch almost every Council meeting. I know you do as well, and attended them, when they were open to the public. And you call in. Not every issue going before the Council gets a public meeting. But they do have an agenda packet, and welcome public comment. Both at the beginning of the meeting, and during discussion of the item. I have noticed that public comment has waned, since the meetings became virtual. But I think if people really care about issues such as these, they will get… Read more »

Larry Block
Admin
3 months ago
Reply to  Randy

Hi Randy, yes scooters were banned by the previous council. And if you watched the meeting you would recall city staff talking about the scooter companies re-contacting city staff and a proposal put forward. That proposal was put forward without direction from the city council. Previous direction banned the scooters. Public input is suppose to come before the city staff takes it upon itself to make deals with scooter companies before presenting to council, and similarly public input should happen before the city staff reach out to the metro requesting its use for a homeless shelter.

Randy
Randy
3 months ago
Reply to  Larry Block

Larry, thank you. I did watch the meeting, but I don’t recall the details. It looks like it was on January 19th, so quite awhile ago. That was the meeting where they had one call in opposition of the item. I just reviewed the minutes. When the Council voted on the proposal, from city staff, wouldn’t that also be a time for public input? I mean, there are items on the agenda, all the time, that start as a proposal from city staff. Regarding all kinds of issues. I guess I’m just confused as to which items should get public… Read more »

Gloria Vassy
3 months ago
Reply to  Larry Block

Yes, Larry. Their agenda is decided before it comes before the public. I’ve been there and finally realized I was wasting my time coming before Council. Whomever offers the most kickback wins.

Joshua88
Joshua88
2 months ago
Reply to  Larry Block
Ray
Ray
3 months ago
Reply to  Moded00

Isn’t it the unions trying to take over these businesses and not union busting as you say? It’s the other way around.

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
3 months ago
Reply to  Ray

There is a long history of resistance to the unionization of West Hollywood hotels so you sort of have to take the long view of what is going on. Unite Here is promoting a policy that would protect housekeepers from inordinate work loads and the Chamber of Commerce is pushing back.

John Daniel Harrington-Tyrell
John Daniel Harrington-Tyrell
3 months ago

Politics is Self Interest, so the motivation to pass this w/o proper study is transparent and efforts to push through screams perceptual bias. This Ordinance needs to be paused and given careful consideration.

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