UNITE HERE LOCAL 11: Nearly a Dozen Elected Officials Speak Out on Alleged Violence at Hotel Maya

Leaders urge hotel operator Ensemble to resolve labor dispute which has dragged on even as other hotels, including two Hyatts in Long Beach, have reached tentative agreements

LONG BEACH, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Nearly a dozen elected leaders have sent a letter to Hotel Maya leadership and owner-operator Ensemble expressing concern over incidents of violence against Maya workers who were peacefully protesting for improved working conditions, benefits and wages.

The letter comes just days after the Hyatt Regency Long Beach and Hyatt the Pike Long Beach reached standard-raising agreements with UNITE HERE Local 11.

The letter urges Ensemble and Maya to expedite the resolution of these matters as soon as possible. Long Beach Mayor Rex Richardson and Councilmember Roberto Uranga, Assemblymembers Chris Holden, and Avelino Valencia are among those leaders who have sent letters to Ensemble. Other electeds from across the region have also weighed in, including Los Angeles Councilmember Hugo Soto-Martinez.

UNITE HERE Local 11 raised concerns with Ensemble after a disturbing incident on December 13 outside of the hotel. According to workers, a housekeeper was participating in a peaceful picket line at the Maya Hotel with a sign and a megaphone when a man, since identified as an investor in the hotel, approached her. According to these allegations, the man grabbed and tried to yank the megaphone out of the housekeeper’s hand while yelling at her.

The hotel workers’ union has filed federal labor charges about the incident, as well as a charge alleging the company failed to provide video footage and access to the guest registry in order to investigate.

This is not the first incidence of violence at the hotel. As is alleged in the letter, during another incident on August 5, Maya hotel security and guests attempted to use a chain link fence to forcibly relocate a group of striking workers while they peacefully picketed on a sidewalk, while a guest came around the fence and punched a worker in the head. The worker experienced injuries and medical expenses as a result. The attack was captured on video which has been circulated widely and reported in the press.

“The support elected officials are giving to Long Beach hotel workers during this time proves that Long Beach values are those of equality and justice,” said Ada Briceño, co-president of UNITE HERE Local 11. “We need Ensemble, Hotel Maya, and any hotel owner looking to do business in these cities to do the same.”

“My family and I share a small apartment with two other families because we cannot afford anything else. That is why I am out here peacefully taking action, to secure a better future. To see the hotel and an investor of the hotel act violently with me and my coworkers is disgusting. We appreciate the support the Mayor of Long Beach and others are showing us at this time,” said Camila, housekeeper at Hotel Maya.

The workers’ primary contract goals include wage increases to keep pace with the soaring cost of housing in Los Angeles, quality and affordable health insurance, a pension to retire with dignity, and humane workloads. Workers are demanding that Ensemble Investment and its operated properties, including Hyatt Place Pasadena, sign the standard-setting agreement, which 30 other hotels across the region have agreed to.

UNITE HERE Local 11 is a labor union representing more than 32,000 hospitality workers in Southern California and Arizona that work in hotels, restaurants, universities, convention centers and airports.


Maria Hernandez | 623-340-8047 | mhernandez@unitehere11.org

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