JW Marriot Santa Monica pays housekeepers $ 25 an hour by agreement with the union

Family health insurance and other benefits are part of the agreement that ends a long drawn out hassle

By Sam Catanzaro

After a protracted labor dispute, the JW Marriott Le Merigot Santa Monica Hotel will pay its householders $ 25 and offer free family health insurance after reaching an agreement with the local hospitality union.

The agreement was announced on Wednesday by UNITE HERE Local 11, the union that represents over 32,000 hospitality workers in Southern California and Arizona. According to the union, the deal provides for a minimum wage of $ 25 an hour until the contract expires in June 2023 and free family health insurance for employees at the hotel on 1740 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica.

“Hats off to Stockdale Capital for being a responsible employer and recognizing the values ​​of community and justice of Santa Monica. Thank you to the heroes of this fight: the brave housekeepers who never lost their faith, fought a nefarious Columbia Sussex every day and won an extraordinary union agreement, ”said Kurt Petersen, union co-president.

Stockdale Capital, a Los Angeles-based, vertically integrated real estate investment firm, recently acquired JW Marriott Santa Monica in May 2021. The company was not immediately available for comment on this article.

As part of the agreement, room staff in the hotel receive higher wages and family health insurance, a performance-based pension plan and job security coverage.

“This contract changes life. This is the first time, after 10 years in the hospitality industry, that I have sat at the table fighting for the wages and benefits we deserved. Without the union, none of these changes would have been possible, ”said Ismelda Reyes, laundry manager who has been with the hotel for 10 years.

The labor dispute began in 2016 when the hotel’s domestic workers won a union. However, Columbia Sussex, the then owners and managers of the hotel, fought union efforts and a long labor dispute began.

“During that period, the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board found evidence of more than 11 unfair labor charges against Columbia Sussex for alleged federal labor law violations. To settle these claims, hotel management agreed to pay over $ 35,000 in bonuses the company withheld from workers in 2016, lift seven disciplinary measures imposed on workers, and offer to reinstate a laid-off worker, “wrote Unite HERE Local 11 in the press release the agreement.

Neither Columbia Sussex nor JW Marriott responded to a request for comment on this article.

With the agreement, there are only three non-union, high-profile hotels in Santa Monica: the Shore, Casa Del Mar and Shutters on the Beach.

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