Union Workers Picket Hotel Bel-Air, Favorite Haunt of Hollywood Celebrities

Comments (0)


Fri, Oct 14, 2011 at 8:29 PM

click to enlarge Picketers outside the Hotel Bel Air
  • Picketers outside the Hotel Bel Air
Several hundred union demonstrators picketed outside the Hotel Bel-Air this evening, calling on managers to rehire workers who were laid off when the hotel closed for renovations.

"They say go away! We say no way!" the protesters chanted. After a march down to Sunset Boulevard, they temporarily blocked Stone Canyon Road, which leads to the hotel.

The union was joined by about 60 protesters from Occupy L.A., the group that has been camped outside L.A. City Hall for the last two weeks.

The hotel, which is popular among Hollywood celebrities, laid off more than 250 employees when it closed for renovations. About 100 of them reapplied for their jobs earlier this year, as the hotel prepared to reopen. But Unite Here organizers say that only about 10-15 of them were rehired.

The rest got postcards, reading "At the present time we are pursuing other candidates who more closely match the job qualifications."

"This is a high-class hotel," said Martin Tavarez, the assistant maitre d' at the banquet, who has been out of work for the last two years. "The clientele need high-class personnel. They need people with experience. We know the hotel like the back of our hand."

The hotel is owned by the Sultan of Brunei. One of the demonstrators appeared dressed as the Sultan. The hotel has said the new workers will vote whether to join a union.

Councilman Paul Koretz, who represents Bel Air, joined the demonstration, as did Councilman Bill Rosendahl. John Wilhelm, the president of Unite Here, also joined the protest.

"I never thought I'd get to do this in Bel Air," he said. "Peace won't come to Bel Air until peace comes to the workers of the Hotel Bel-Air."

The Unite Here demonstrators adopted the Occupy Wall Street chant, "We are the 99%."

Related Content


Now Trending

  • Venice Boardwalk Beat-Down Caught on Video

    A brutal beating next to the Venice boardwalk this week was captured on video (on the next page). Los Angeles Police Department detectives are asking for your help in tracking down not only the suspect, but the victim, who "we haven't been able to locate," Officer Nuria Venegas told us...
  • L.A. Porn Production Shuts Down Over HIV Report

    The adult video industry's trade group today called for a moratorium on production after a performer might have tested positive for HIV. The Los Angeles-based Free Speech Coalition said in a statement that one of the facilities used by porn stars under the industry's voluntary, twice-a-month STD testing protocol "reported...
  • Here are the Winners and Losers in California's $330 Million Film Tax Subsidy

    Jerry Brown, California's skin-flint governor, acceded Wednesday to an increase in the film tax credit to $330 million. Brown is a well-known skeptic of Hollywood subsidies, but the combined forces of organized labor, multinational entertainment conglomerates, and B-list celebrities proved too powerful to resist. The industry didn't get the $400...
Los Angeles Concert Tickets