Los Angeles Business Journal

Long Beach Hyatt Hotel Employees Elect Union

By Bethany Firnhaber Monday, April 8, 2013

Employees at two Hyatt hotels in Long Beach, the 528-room Hyatt Regency Long Beach and the 138-room Pike Long Beach, said Monday they had voted to be represented by Unite Here Local 11.

The election took place after Long Beach voters last fall approved Measure N, a living-wage initiative requiring hotels with more than 100 rooms to pay employees at least $13 an hour, or allow them to unionize. California’s minimum wage is $8.

Long Beach Councilwoman Suja Lowenthal, who represents the city’s Second District, said she’s glad to see the effects of the living wage initiative go into effect.

“Measure N has allowed us to build a relationship between Hyatt hotels in Long Beach and Unite Here Local 11 that will benefit the hotels, workers and community going forward,” she said in a statement.

Unite Here has long had a contentious relationship with Hyatt hotels in Long Beach. The election marks the end of a more than three-year boycott of the two hotels by the union.

Ada Briceno, secretary-treasurer for Unite Here Local 11, said the union was looking forward to sitting down with Hyatt management. “On behalf of our new members, we are committed to negotiating the best contract we can that addresses wages, benefits and working conditions,” she said in a statement.

About 300 employees from the two hotels will be affected by coming negotiations.

Stephen D’Agostino, general manager at Hyatt Regency Long Beach, said he supports his employees’ right to choose union representation in an election.

“We’ve always maintained strong relations with our associates and unions representing Hyatt associates in other locations,” he said in a statement.