Local Business

Hospitality Workers Rally for Anaheim Initiative for Fair Pay and Worker Protections Against Sexual Assault

After collecting thousands of signatures for the “hospitality worker bill of Rights law” in Anaheim, the UNITE HERE Local 11-led initiative, Anaheim City Council, will hold a final vote to consider passing the initiative. Just before the vote, hospitality workers will gather for a protest on the steps of City Hall on June 13 at 4:30 pm to voice their need for protection and fair pay in Anaheim and their call for this initiative to be placed on the General Election ballot when the most voters will be able to cast their votes.

If the council sends the initiative to voters, hospitality workers ask that the city refrain from spending over $1.4 million in taxpayer dollars on a special election and instead send the initiative to the general election in the name of democracy. To be clear, hospitality workers are outraged that the city is even considering spending an additional $1.2-1.4 million more to hold a special election at the behest of big business interests when lower voter turnout will be all but guaranteed.

The ordinance aims to provide the following standards at hotels and event centers in Anaheim:

  • $25.00 minimum wage for hotel housekeepers and other hotel and event center workers, with an annual increase in wage to reflect the cost of living

  • Panic buttons with a security guard on call, mandatory training, and security protocols to protect hotel housekeepers from sexual assault and threatening conduct by guests and others

  • Fair pay when housekeepers are assigned heavy workloads and a prohibition on mandatory overtime after 10 hours

  • Protections to ensure workers are retained when new owners or operators take over their workplaces

Workers have reported being forced to perform heavy workloads without fair compensation and receive wages that have failed to account for the fast-rising cost of living. Meanwhile, the hotel industry’s profits are soaring as pricing for hotel rooms exceeds the rate of inflation, and the Average Daily Room rates (ADR) in the Anaheim-Santa Ana area have risen 20% above pre-pandemic levels.

Cities in Southern California, such as Los Angeles, Long Beach, Santa Monica, Glendale, and West Hollywood, have adopted laws guaranteeing fair pay for heavy workloads and protection against sexual assault for housekeepers who work alone in guest rooms, among other protections. In Orange County, Irvine was the first to follow suit by passing a “hotel housekeeper bill of rights” law.

As one of the most profitable resort cities in the country, Anaheim voters now have the opportunity to set an example as a transparent and democratic city by passing the initiative to provide hospitality workers with their fair share.

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