LOS ANGELES, July 2 (Reuters) – Thousands of Los Angeles-area hotel workers went on strike on Sunday demanding pay hikes and improved benefits in a region where high housing costs make it difficult for low-wage earners to live close to where they hold jobs, union officials said.
Unite Here Local 11, which represents 15,000 workers at more than 60 major hotels in Los Angeles and Orange counties, declared the strike a day after the workers’ contract expired. It marks one of the largest strikes to hit the U.S. hospitality industry in recent years.
The labor dispute comes during the July Fourth holiday weekend as Southern California’s busy summer travel season goes into high swing. It overlaps with a Hollywood screenwriters strike that was headed into a ninth week, already taking a toll on the Los Angeles economy and showbiz production.