June 16, 2024

Employees at two Pasadena inns went on strike Sunday, picketing for higher wages and elevated staffing, as preparations have been underway for the Rose Parade on New 12 months’s Day.

Members of Unite Right here Native 11, which represents a spread of resort staff together with housekeepers and cooks, walked out at daybreak Sunday and can proceed to strike Monday on the Hilton Pasadena and the Hyatt Place Pasadena, stated union spokesperson Maria Teresa Kamel.

As of Sunday morning, dozens of individuals have been picketing outdoors the 2 inns, chanting “Si se puede!” — “Sure we are able to” — and tents have been arrange for some protesters planning to camp in a single day.

The union selected this weekend for the walkout as a result of “it’s most likely the most important vacationer occasion in Pasadena,” she stated. Employees determined that “in the event that they’re anticipated to work on such a busy weekend, they need to be compensated with a good contract.”

Unite Right here is asking for an instantaneous $5-an-hour hike in wages and for a return to “pre-pandemic staffing ranges,” which haven’t rebounded regardless of a resurgence in resort enterprise, Kamel stated.

“Now we have a number of staff doing the work of two or three folks for a similar wages as they have been getting earlier than,” she stated. The union has additionally raised considerations about pensions.

The Hilton Pasadena is amongst a number of inns concerned in talks with the union which might be operated by Aimbridge Hospitality, which stated in an announcement that it was “persevering with conversations with the union and stay[s] targeted on reaching an settlement that places our associates and their greatest pursuits on the heart.”

“Whereas these conversations are ongoing, the resort has processes in place to restrict disruptions and guarantee constant service and distinctive visitor experiences always,” Aimbridge stated in its assertion.

Hyatt Place Pasadena is owned and operated by personal fairness agency Ensemble. Hyatt and Ensemble didn’t instantly reply to messages in search of remark Sunday on the walkout and the union calls for.

Joseph Co, normal supervisor at Hyatt Place Pasadena, advised the Pasadena Star-Information that the resort has been “actively engaged in talks with the union” and “continues to honor the expired union contract and its union staff because it seeks to achieve a brand new settlement.”

A consultant for the Lodge Assn. of Los Angeles declined to remark.

Housekeeper Andrea Zepeda, who has labored greater than a yr and a half at Hyatt Place Pasadena, stated she had struggled to make ends meet on roughly $18 an hour. She cares for 2 of her grandchildren and pays $1,800 in hire for a one-bedroom condominium, she stated.

“The cash doesn’t go far sufficient,” she stated in Spanish. “All the pieces could be very costly — meals, payments — and the prices are going up.” Zepeda additionally stated that skimpy staffing had piled on strain at her job to wash as many as 15 rooms earlier than the tip of her shift with out being provided extra time.

Pasadena inns replenish annually for the Rose Parade, which started in 1890 as a promotional occasion by an area social membership and has advanced right into a beloved custom. Lots of of campers flock the day earlier than to search out curbside seating out there on a first-come, first-served foundation alongside the parade route. These engaged on floats or taking part within the parade search for breakfast spots within the wee hours of the morning on Jan. 1.

Whereas staff don’t plan to picket on the Rose Bowl itself, the proximity of the inns means picket traces will possible be noticeable to parade attendees, union officers stated. Dozens of different inns have reached tentative agreements with Unite Right here Native 11 since their contracts expired in July, however these two haven’t, Kamel stated.

“Our beef isn’t with the Rose Bowl,” she stated. However “personal fairness teams have been more durable to barter with than different inns.”

Instances employees author Suhauna Hussain contributed to this report.