For immediate release
August 10, 2011
Community, students and hotel workers “blow the whistle” on HEI’s mistreatment
Dozens of LB community groups paint pillow cases in support of struggling hotel workers
WHAT: All-Day Protest with Rallies, Picket Lines, Pillow Case Art!
WHO: Housekeepers, community members, students, hotel workers, Assemblymember Bonnie Lowenthal and City Councilman Steve Neal
WHEN: Aug. 10 at 11:45 AM Rally (All-day presence 7 am – 7 pm)
WHERE: HEI Hilton Long Beach – 701 West Ocean Boulevard, Long Beach
LONG BEACH – Long Beach community groups will come together on Wednesday, Aug. 10 to continue protests against the HEI Hilton Long Beach for firing whistle-blowing housekeepers earlier this year.
The action will feature a 20-foot clothesline of pillow case art made by dozens of Long Beach–area community groups who are demanding justice for the five fired housekeepers and all hotel workers in Long Beach who suffer mistreatment at the hand of HEI.
"The community is demanding more from the HEI Hilton Long Beach," said Annette Quintero, a Long Beach Good Jobs Coalition Steering Committee member. "This hotel cannot cheat the system, use these women for cheap labor, then throw them away when they speak up about unfair conditions. The pillow cases demonstrate a growing body of Long Beach residents who understand how badly this hotel treats its workers and stand with the workers."
The community has rallied to the support of the fired housekeepers, collecting hundreds of dollars at a June fundraiser at Pizza Pi restaurant and staging various rallies in support of the whistleblowers.
On April 20, 2011, the HEI-owned Hilton Long Beach fired five housekeepers after three of them raised concerns with management about unfair working conditions. The housekeepers had also been participating in an ongoing state investigation into the legality of their employment arrangements. They were paid under the table without a legal paycheck.
HEI Hotels is an investment company that owns and operates more than 30 hotels across the country. It buys hotels and employs a range of techniques to drastically cut costs — a process that workers say comes at their expense. HEI has raised over a billion dollars in capital from university endowments such as those of University of Pennsylvania, Brown, Yale, Harvard, Princeton and more.
Students from Brown and other universities will join protests on Wednesday.