By Genevieve Morrill
Dear Weho Residents,
Some of you know me and others I have yet to meet. It may not be obvious because I run a Chamber of Commerce but grew up in a family of activists for human rights. I am personally a political liberal and longtime advocate for social justice concerns. With that in mind, I write to you now about the proposed WeHo Hotel Ordinance. This is politically motivated and is being touted under the guise of social justice for workers’ safety. What it is really doing is creating untenable requirements that would force hotels into collective bargaining agreements by buying political support through campaign contributions. This ordinance will require a doubling of hotel housekeeping staff and impose severe restrictions on their compensation, which goes too far. It is just wrong for West Hollywood.
The proposed Hotel Ordinance is not a pro-worker measure. It’s an extortion attempt by a union (Unite HERE) that most other unions privately disdain for their outrageous tactics. The Unite HERE union is the same interest group that previously ran a national campaign to stop tourists from visiting LA—to force hotels to unionize—even if it meant killing union worker jobs and the local economy.
WeHo has long understood that tourism is vital to fund desperately needed City services. Now, when WeHo hotels and its workers are hit disproportionately hard by the Covid economy, comes this shake-down attempt. Other cities are helping hotels re-open; sadly, not WeHo. This business and worker-bashing Ordinance will make it harder for hotels to survive. But don’t take my word for it: listen to the Weho hotel housekeepers who strongly oppose this ill-timed, regressive Ordinance—because it will hurt them financially and lead to job losses, not more hiring. (See article Local employees from The Montrose, The Grafton, The Chamberlain, and Le Parc Suites speak to you in open letter: – WEHOville) See for yourself the grotesque claims they are making in this video clip: FACT OR FICTION video link https://www.sosweho.org/fact-check
WeHo has long prided itself on its well-run hotels, its worker safety protections, and its Living Wage Ordinance. But now, the City that prides itself on its thoughtful approach is instead ramming through this Ordinance—without even studying the potential economic impacts on vital City services. The City makes 40% percent of its income from tourism—and they don’t even want to analyze the potential risk to City coffers? That fact alone tells you all you need to know.
We are better than this. Our leaders should be as well. If you agree, PLEASE forward this email to the City Clerk at email@example.com with a copy to firstname.lastname@example.org and write in the email subject line: “I agree with this letter and oppose the Hotel Ordinance – please consider the compromise proposed”.
Thank you in advance for your consideration and support.
Genevieve Morrill (she, her, hers). President and CEO West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce
[…] West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, which has stood its ground looking after the interests of small, independent WeHo businesses, even […]
Quote 4 Weho:- – – “The power of the people is stronger than the people in power.” (Wael Ghonim) Gen I agree with you 200%, although my support was to a different LA city, when very young, I worked for a large Hotel, and had 3 other jobs just to survive and pay my bills. Unions are actually very controlling and abusive as I been in one past and I do not agree with this Ordinance. Also if Weho can use Tax Payer funds for a $200 million dollar fancy library, why can’t they have a Tax Payer VOTE not… Read more »
Anti-unionism is endemic to corporate West Hollywood.
After all, who pays the bills? Hotels. How? Alcohol and low wages.
There are indeed two (or more) sides to every issue and Ms. Morrill presents a convincing argument. My concern remains why The Three Stooges on council want to shove this through without the legitimacy afforded by the economic study supported by many, including the new city manager. Take a look at a typical council agenda and note how many consultants are hired and studies commissioned. Why not for this? This has devolved from a serious debate about policy into a trash can of poor municipal governance at the hands of nakedly ambitious political agenda. Once again, WeHo will be the… Read more »
If this ever gets to the level of litigation, the Judge may rightfully ask if an economic study was ever performed by knowledgeable individuals? And if not, why not?
I don’t appreciate people or commenters who say people who are anti union are against races or racists. I also don’t like bully tactics and robo calls on behalf of unions! This is somehow turning into a race issue or slanderous comments instead of a sound ethical collective bargaining employment issue. I don’t like what Unite Here has done these past 6 months. Protesting on Sunset at the hotels and also at the Chateau Marmont banging pots and pans and using bull horns to wake up residents at 3-5 am. Can’t sleep and Waking up us residents who live south… Read more »
Can you please stop with the spammy unsolicited text message campaign?
Also, why are you waging a public campaign over this? It’s not a ballot referendum, it’s a council vote. You just need to flip one CM.
Buy some influence with campaign cash— same thing you’ve done plenty of times in the past.
Sad but very true. Pay to Play in WEHO must go away. Time for some REAL comprehensive ethics laws to stop the madness. Developers and billboard companies are at the top of the list.
Target is an example of a large corporation that cuts payroll to increase profits. They have investors to keep happy. So do Hotels. If city council believes the hotel maids are being marginalized, then they should take a fraction of a percent from the hotel tax to compensate housekeeping staff directly. Or start a Tip the Maid campaign.
If workers are being forced to work off the clock, they should be able to have city administrative services make a ruling.
I suggest the Chamber of Commerce anti-union mangager read this, reported in this morning’s Los Angeles Times: “As the financial blow of the pandemic became a reality in the spring of 2020, Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. furloughed thousands of workers and eliminated 2,100 corporate positions. The cuts also appeared to hit the C-suite: Chief Executive Christopher Nassetta opted to forgo his entire base salary for the rest of the year, and five other top executives cut their base salaries by 50% for four months. Despite the salary cut, Nassetta’s compensation package more than doubled to $55.9 million in 2020, compared… Read more »
As a 14-year resident with long and varied experiences and connections, I can tell you that we have a real moral lack regarding the people running organizations and departments. Treacherous individuals who throw good people under the bus so that they never have to take responsibility for their failings should not be in control in any way. Money and business and greed should not be our North Star.
Ethics and integrity are relics of the past according to the practices of many. Corporate and individual cannibalism has become the protocol of the day. We are the worse for it.
Well said…ethics, integrity and business consciousness used to be the only pathway….then it shifted into power plays, who likes who and much worse, and I have been part of some large unions that refuse to even support anyone, until we all had to strike and protest and legislation limiting the power of the top controllers of Fortune 500 Corporations is really the reality of what is needed, or else it never shifts. B of A CEO faced thousands of his shareholders on the steps of NY Attorney General Court many years ago, my friends were there, with paper masks of… Read more »
Ms. Morrill has always been level headed and looking out for the best interests of West Hollywood. Unite Here has always acted underhandedly.The city hasn’t even studied how this will impact things in West Hollywood. The council should do its due diligence and gather infomation, explore options and then make a decision. Lately they are just running wild without being fully informed. It’s got to stop.
I fully agree, so much with you, as Gen is real, and she has NOT sold out once since I have seen her leading the Chamber of Commerce, she is honest, sincere and she has a logic that is community based, not PROFIT and CONTROL focused. Unite Here is definitely with their OWN AGENDA and controlling City Leaders is part of their powerful hopes, NO WAY!!! We must stop their power play brainwashing games, and focus on grassroots real integrity for all. You would think Covid might have HUMBLED someone in power….
How about we make it easier for hotels to survive in Weho by not building new ones every three feet?
Exactly…..well said Tom…lol!!! Can you say Tax Credits?