LOS ANGELES – Workers from the California Club, one of downtown LA’s oldest private clubs, moved closer to a work stoppage as the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO approved this past Friday a strike authorization request from the club’s cooks, servers, janitors and housekeepers.
Club employees, who serve LA’s elite investment bankers, attorneys and developers, say they refuse to accept another wage freeze, as the Club management is insisting, while they see corporate profits soar and the economy rebound for the rich.
“This is just another example of the rich squeezing the poor,” said Felipe Sanchez, a California Club cook of 15 years. “The club says it cannot afford to pay us wages on par with the Jonathan Club. But last year the Club renovated its second floor, knocking down walls and replacing carpet. The rich can afford to invest in fine art and expensive rugs, but not us.”
POMONA – Unprovoked by any federal agency, Pomona College fired today 16 dining hall workers who did not re-verify their eligibility to work. Several of those terminated had worked at Pomona College for 10 to 20 years.
In protest, about 200 students, workers, alumni and community members descended on Frary Dining Hall, demanding the right to come work. When managers refused to let workers work, supporters took the dispute outside the Pomona College President David Oxtoby’s office and picketed in the street.
“We’re here to work,” said Christian Torres, a seven-year Pomona College cook. “What Pomona College has done is wrong and unjust, and we will keep fighting to come back to work.”
November 22, 2011 – The Embassy Suites hotel in Irvine has agreed to pay employees $99,999 after workers complained of being denied rest and meal breaks on the job.
The settlement agreement, reached this past week, comes about one month after a State hearing officer found the Irvine hotel guilty of denying rest breaks to seven hotel workers and ordered the hotel pay them $36,000. In total, the hotel has settled or been found liable on 32 wage and hour violation complaints.
CLAREMONT – ICE has not conducted a raid, but Pomona College officials are demanding that some dining hall workers, along with some student employees and faculty, present documents authorizing them to work in the United States. And if they don’t produce the documents by Dec. 1, they face termination, college officials say.
In a press conference Wednesday, Nov. 16, workers, students, faculty and community members slammed Pomona’s hypocritical attack on immigrant workers.
The demand for documentation comes as dining hall workers continue efforts to organize a union on a campus.
LOS ANGELES – Workers at the popular W Hotel in Hollywood walked off the job in a one-day strike today, Friday, Oct. 28, to protest not being able to take breaks.
“We are on strike today to show the W Hollywood that we deserve the right to take breaks,” said Mildred Velasquez, a W housekeeper. “We are excited to be joined by music video dancers who also need breaks on the job. Whether it’s in a hotel or at a video production, management must respect the limits of our bodies.”
AFTRA music video dancers dropped by the Hollywood hot-spot to perform for striking hotel workers. Both unions pledged total support of each other’s campaigns for safe working conditions.