Hotel workers in Culver City have filed an initiative that will guarantee a $25 per hour minimum wage and protect room attendants against sexual assault. Similar legislation has already been passed in other California cities, including Los Angeles, Irvine, and Santa Monica, and Long Beach.
Last month, hotel workers in Rancho Palos Verdes submitted a similar initiative which would cover workers employed at the Terranea Resort, a resort plagued by accusations of unlawful practices.
The initiative calls for Culver City hotels to:
- Provide room attendants with panic buttons, training and security protocols to protect them from sexual assault and threatening conduct by guests.
- Provide room attendants fair pay for heavy workloads and prohibit mandatory overtime after 10 hours.
- Pay a $25.00 minimum wage for hotel workers, rising to $30.00 by the 2028 Olympics.
- Guarantee that new hotel operators retain the incumbent workers when management changes.
“Our wages are not keeping up with inflation and skyrocketing rents,” said Pedro Morales, a Houseperson at The Shay, Culver City, which is managed by Hyatt. “We opened up this hotel in the middle of the pandemic. Culver City hotels are booming. We need $25 an hour to survive.”
Lowe, a real estate company, is an owner of the Terranea and of the Shay Culver City with joint venture partners. In November 2019, the Terranea Resort contributed more than a million dollars to defeat a similar ballot initiative that would have benefited housekeepers—a group made up predominantly of immigrant women of color—in Rancho Palos Verdes. In 2022, the Terranea agreed to pay $1.5 million to workers for failing to comply with California’s return to work law.
“The tourism industry’s workforce is overworked and underpaid,” states Kurt Peterson, co-president of UNITE HERE Local 11. “Hyatt and Robert Lowe and his sons have made a fortune off the backs of hard-working room attendants. Culver City needs to hold them and other hoteliers accountable. A living wage and safe working conditions are a starting point.”
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