For immediate release
September 22, 2020
Seeking the Right to Return to Work, Laid Off Hospitality Workers Caravan to California Capitol
Their goal: meet with Governor Newsom and urge him to sign AB 3216 before the Sept 30 deadline
WHAT: Press Conference and delegation of workers, union leaders & elected officials to deliver GIANT letter to Governor Newsom re: AB 3216 (Kalra)
WHEN: Tuesday, September 22, 2020 from 4:00-5:00pm
WHERE: North Steps of the Capitol in Sacramento, 11th & L Streets
WHO: Hotel & janitorial workers, Senator Maria Elena Durazo, Assemblyman Ash Kalra, UNITE HERE Intl. Sec-Treasurer Gwen Mills, Ron Herrera, President, LA County Federation of Labor, Art Pulaski, Secretary-Treasurer, California Labor Federation
Follow the hashtag #AB3216 on Instagram and Twitter as workers document their journey
Sacramento, California: Laid off hospitality and airport workers will caravan from across the state to Sacramento on Tuesday to deliver a letter urging Governor Gavin Newsom to sign AB 3216, which would protect the jobs of service workers through rights of recall and retention.
Hospitality, janitorial and airport workers are among the hardest-hit by reduced hours, layoffs, and terminations during COVID-19, but many have no guarantee of a right to return to work when business reopens. AB 3216 would guarantee the most experienced of these workers the ability to return to their jobs when the crisis subsides.
After stopping at some of their southern California workplaces, caravan participants will arrive in Sacramento for a socially distant press conference, where they will ask to meet with Governor Gavin Newsom and deliver a letter authored by five laid-off hospitality workers from across the state. Joining them at the State Capitol will be State Senator Maria Elena Durazo, Assembly Member and author of AB 3216 Ash Kalra, and Ron Herrera, president of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor. A group of laid-off workers are committed to stay in Sacramento and repeat their request daily until Governor Gavin Newsom meets with them.
Hotels got a special provision in the PPP loan legislation that helped the hospitality industry receive at least $4.6 billion dollars in aid in California alone. A study by UNITE HERE Local 11, which represents over 30,000 hospitality and tourism workers in southern California and Arizona, found that 25 hotels accepted between $28.9 million and $67.4 million in PPP loans. Furthermore, corporate giant HMS Host received valuable rent relief while its workers have been laid off since March. Workers also received a letter from HMS Host saying if they are not recalled by October 15th, their temporary lay-offs will be permanent.
The caravanning service workers from Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, Oakland, and Sacramento contrast these corporate bailouts to the hospitality industry with their own struggles to stay housed, fed, safe, and healthy during the pandemic.
Jurisdictions that have passed similar legislation in the wake of COVID-19 include Los Angeles, San Diego, Long Beach, Glendale, Pasadena, and unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County; Santa Monica passed similar measures after the 9/11 terrorist attacks severely reduced travel. Governor Gavin Newsom has until September 30 to sign AB 3216.