For immediate release
November 19, 2012
Holiday Inn LAX Employees File Cal-OSHA Complaint after Worker Suffers Severe Reaction Cleaning Rooms Treated for Bedbugs
Workers, allies to stage 30-hour continuous protest beginning Monday at 5:30 AM
What: 30-hour protest following the filing of unsafe working conditions complaint
When: Monday, Nov. 19 starting at 5:30 AM
*Affected worker available for media interviews from 5:30 AM – 8:30 AM and from 4 PM – 6 PM
Where: Holiday Inn LAX – 9901 S. La Cienega Blvd. Los Angeles, CA
Who: Hotel workers (cooks, housekeepers, bartenders), clergy, community leaders
Why: Kicking off the Thanksgiving travel week, Holiday Inn LAX workers and their allies will stage a 30-hour continuous protest outside the hotel after a worker suffered a severe reaction in apparent response to chemicals the Hotel used to treat guest rooms for bedbugs. An urgent Cal-OSHA investigation has been requested.
On October 29, 2012, one of the hotel’s employees suffered a persistent headache as well as acute irritation in his face, eyes and throat after shampooing carpets in 15 rooms over two days that had been shut down for bedbug treatment. His symptoms lasted hours. His co-workers have demanded that the Hotel provide them information about what chemicals were used. They have also asked Cal-OSHA to investigate the Hotel’s compliance with applicable safety protocols.
The California Department of Public Health has issued a Pesticide Hazard Alert for employers, noting that exposure to pesticides used to treat bedbugs can cause illness. California OSHA regulations require employers to provide workers with information and training about potentially hazardous chemicals to which they may be exposed in the workplace.
The protest, taking place as the Thanksgiving holiday rush begins, comes amid an escalating labor dispute at the Holiday Inn. In October, workers filed a class action lawsuit demanding millions in back pay for alleged unpaid wages. The following week they staged a one-day strike.
Visuals: Protesters dressed in "bed-bug" and "Hazmat" costumes, picket signs
Special Visual Events: 5:30 – 7 AM Monday – Pancake breakfast for protesters (grilled on-site); 11 AM on Monday – Lunch break massages for employees provided by professional massage therapists; 5 PM – Rally & musical performance