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UNITE HERE Local 11: Following Plus-Size Model’s Allegations of Body-Shaming at Highlight Room Nightclub, Former Workers Speak Out About Their Own Mistreatment

Days before the Tommie and Thompson hotels are to be sold at auction, former hotel workers and their allies rallied outside the hotels to speak out against mistreatment and disrespect of workers and guests alike in the heart of Hollywood.

“One of my bosses made sexually suggestive comments to me that I thought were inappropriate, and I was afraid to speak up sooner because I didn’t want to get fired ... Now I feel like I can’t stay silent,” said former line cook Alex Gedo in the Highlight Room at the Dream Hotel.

“Workers and guests alike deserve dignity and respect, and I am proud to stand together to call for a safe and respectful workplace for everyone,” said Earl Wintron resident of Hollywood, who worked at Bar Terrace at the Thompson as a server, busser, and runner from July 2021 through February 2022.

About a month ago, curvy models Alexa Jay and Ella Halikas alleged that they were both denied entry into the Highlight Room–the nightclub on the rooftop of the Dream Hollywood–based on their size. The Dream, Thompson, and Tommie Hotels were all developed by Relevant Group within the last five years in a scheme to “revitalize” the surrounding neighborhood just north of Sunset.

“Hollywood is a community of contrasts. It is the creative cradle of the entertainment industry. It is a place of dreams and possibility. Those of us who live here, work here, or spend time here know that it is far more than that. There is the Hollywood we see in film, and the one we live in. Behind us rise towers of money, influence, and exclusivity,” said Jennifer Gutierrez of CLUE Los Angeles.

Last month, a major lender announced that it was foreclosing on the Thompson and Tommie Hotels. The auction will take place on December 21, 2022.

Now, former workers and their allies called publicly for a Hollywood revitalization that benefits everyone–workers, neighbors, and guests alike.

UNITE HERE Local 11 is a labor union representing over 32,000 hospitality workers in Southern California and Arizona who work in hotels, restaurants, universities, convention centers, and airports.


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