|Holiday Inn LAX Workers Strike Today, Protesting Worker Firings|
Strike comes one week after workers filed class action lawsuit alleging wage and hour violations; participated in Fox 11 expose over guest conditions
LOS ANGELES, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012 -- Employees of the Holiday Inn LAX walked off the job in a one-day strike, protesting the firing of two outspoken workers. Workers will picket and be available for interviews outside the hotel until 7 pm tonight. Photos available for reuse here.
The walkout and firings come just days after workers filed a class action lawsuit against their employer for millions in unpaid wages. In the suit workers claim they don’t get paid for overtime, work through many lunch breaks, and aren’t getting paid the wages required by law.
“Days after I spoke up about working off the clock, I was called into the general manager’s office and asked why I was sabotaging the company. Then I was fired. I have worked at the Holiday Inn for 15 years,” said Nicomedes Quiapos, a bartender and restaurant server.
Workers said they want to see their co-worker Quiapos and another fired worker, Joe Sataar, a 33-year front desk agent, returned to work immediately.
“We want our co-workers Nico and Joe returned to work immediately,” said Marta Valesquez, a Holiday Inn housekeeper. “We are finally standing up for our rights and we won’t be bullied or intimidated by management.”
For many workers, Thursday’s walk out was their first public protest.
“I’ve never done anything like this before but it feels so good to strike and really make the management listen to us,” said Gabriela Ochoa, a Holiday Inn restaurant worker. “Sometimes I do four jobs in one day. There’s not time for breaks, and we work off the clock unpaid. Now we are standing up for ourselves and for our fired co-workers.”