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In Act of Civil Disobedience, Assemblywoman Wendy Carrillo Stands with Hotel Workers Following 96% Strike Authorization Vote

For immediate release:
Wendy Carrillo (AD-52)

LOS ANGELES, CA - On Thursday, June 22nd, 2023, in response to the landslide industry wide strike authorization vote, Assemblywoman Wendy Carrillo (D-Los Angeles), together with UNITE HERE Local 11 representatives, gathered with hundreds of room attendants, cooks, dishwashers, local clergy, community organizers, and local leaders on Century Boulevard near LAX to emphasize workers’ concerns about the rising cost of housing. Assemblywoman Carrillo, together with workers and community allies, engaged in a mass act of nonviolent civil disobedience to bring attention to the ongoing crisis.

Assemblywoman Carrillo, along with LA City Councilmembers, and Union members, were arrested at this event.

As a longtime advocate for budget initiatives and legislation to address the housing crisis and continuing inequities facing workers across California, Assemblywoman Carrillo joined the Union’s calls upon industry leaders, policymakers, and the public to recognize the critical need for affordable housing solutions, equitable wages, and improved working conditions for these vital members of the workforce.

Assemblywoman Carrillo issued the following statement in support of the protest:

“These workers deserve fair wages, access to healthcare, pensions, safer workloads, and above all, the right to live with dignity in the cities and communities where they work. Improved benefits and working conditions must be a part of the solution. Housing justice is not a luxury; it is a fundamental right that we must secure for all.” said Assemblywoman Carrillo. “Today, we stood beside the people who attend to the needs of every Californian; the people whose labor is the underpinning of our soaring, 4th-largest-in-the-world economy.”

"With contracts expiring on June 30th, some major hotel chains across the state have failed to recognize the needs of their employees, in spite of the billions in federal bailouts those chains benefitted from during the pandemic. Workers at these chains continue to face job cuts and reductions in essential services, in spite of hotel profits surpassing pre-pandemic levels in Los Angeles and beyond. This trend continues to exacerbate existing inequities that deny essential workers a sustainable and dignified livelihood - something each and every one of us deserves. Today, and always, we call on the industry to prioritize its workforce and invest in their well-being.”

"I am willing to risk arrest for the future of my kids, my coworkers and myself. The companies have taken advantage of the pandemic to get richer, while we struggle to stay housed. I am fighting for that change!" said Martha Esquivel, a laundry attendant at the Holiday Inn LAX.

In a recent survey conducted by UNITE HERE Local 11, 53% of respondent hotel workers indicated that they have or are currently planning to relocate in the near future due to skyrocketing housing costs that make their economic situation untenable. Workers are often forced to endure extremely long commutes from as far as Apple Valley, Palmdale, California City, and Victorville. 

This was the first organized protest featuring hotel workers and advocates risking arrest en-masse on Century Blvd since 2006.                          

Assemblywoman Wendy Carrillo was elected to the California State Assembly in December 2017. She represents the 52nd District of California, encompassing East LA, Northeast LA, and parts of Glendale. She has served as the Chair of Budget Sub-Committee #4 on State Administration, and a member of the Appropriations, Health, Housing and Community Development, and Utilities and Energy Committees, as well as Chair of the Select Committee on Latina Inequities.