Workers from the Wilshire Hotel struck for one day on January 26, after hotel owner Leo Lee slashed workers’ wages and benefits.
For example, Lee cut wages of workers earning about $10 an hour to the state’s minimum wage of $8 an hour, while others earning about $13.70 were cut to about $10 an hour. He also drastically cut workers’ healthcare benefits.
At the Wilshire Hotel, formerly the Wilshire Plaza, workers have been working under an expired contract since 2006. They have not received a wage raise in more than four years.
"After 14 years of service, I am furious," said Teresa Martinez, a 66-year-old housekeeper. "The housekeeping work I do has taken a serious toll on my body, and as a thank you, Mr. Lee slashed our wages and benefits. We are human. We deserve to be treated with respect."
The workers’ strike comes while more than 4,000 LA-area union hotel workers are without a contract in more than 20 hotels. Most of the contracts expired in November of 2009. Just two weeks ago, hotel workers at the Luxe City Center at LA Live also walked off the job in a one-day strike.