For immediate release
December 6, 2006
Fasting Workers to Stay Outside Westin LAX Hotel for Seven Days,
Community to Join Participants for Actions at Hilton LAX and Other Hotels
500 to Participate in Opening Candlelight Vigil on Century Boulevard; Rev. Cecil Murray, Bishop Gabino Zavala to Lead Blessing of Fasters
Hotels Seek to RepeaI Wage Law Through Ballot Referendum
What: Start of seven-day fast by LAX hotel workers in support of a living wage.
When: Wednesday, December 6
Noon – Blessing of the Fasters Rev. Cecil “Chip” Murray and Catholic Archdiocese Bishop Gabino Zavala will lead a religious ceremony blessing the hotel workers before they begin their fast.
Where: La Placita Church near Olvera Street 535 North Main St., L.A. 90012 5 p.m. – Candlelight Procession along Century Boulevard
Five hundred hotel workers, community members and faith leaders will participate in a candlelight procession along Century Boulevard, beginning at the home of Margarita Uriostegui, an LAX Radisson worker who tragically died two days after the September 28 civil disobedience and in whose memory the fast is dedicated.
Where: Home of Margarita Uriostegi 10204 Felton Ave., L.A. 90045 – one block south of Century Boulevard, east of the 405 Freeway
Eighteen hotel workers on Century Boulevard near Los Angeles International Airport will be engaging in a seven-day water-only fast from December 6 to December 12. Workers have chosen to go without food for a week to continue their struggle for a living wage, and to honor the memory of Margarita Uriostegui, a co-worker who tragically died two days after the September 28 civil disobedience.
Hotel workers on Century Boulevard work full time, sometimes more than one job, yet many of them are still living in poverty. On November 22, the Los Angeles City Council passed a living wage ordinance for Century Boulevard hotel workers as a first step in lifting these workers out of poverty; the legislation was signed into law by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on November 27. The Century Boulevard hotels and other business groups are now seeking to repeal the law through a ballot referendum, jeopardizing the living wages of these workers and their hopes to provide a better life for their families.
Century Boulevard hotel workers earn 20% less than their counterparts in downtown L.A., and the nearby communities of Lennox, Inglewood and Hawthorne, where a large number of these workers live, suffer high rates of poverty, crime and overcrowding. One in four residents in these communities lives below the federal poverty line, a measure of extreme poverty, while more than 40% of children come from poor households. Median household income is 25% lower than in L.A. County as a whole.