News for the Hospitality Executive
UNITE HERE files Initiative to Control Condo Development
Near Ritz Carlton
Huntington Hotel and Spa; Union Seeks to Protect Hotel Workers Jobs
PASADENA, Calif. - September 12, 2007 - UNITE HERE Local 11 took the first step towards filing an initiative for the June 2008 election.
Earlier this week, a Notice of Intent to Circulate Petition and Initiative language were submitted to the Pasadena's City Clerk. The initiative seeks to strengthen existing zoning language to preserve the Huntington Hotel and the unique character of the surrounding neighborhoods. If successful, the initiative will also protect hotel workers' jobs from potential condo conversions or new high-density residential development.
The Huntington Hotel (now known as Ritz-Carlton Huntington Hotel) was originally designed by nationally prominent architects near the turn of the 20th Century. Although razed and rebuilt as a replica, the hotel is the last remaining resort hotel of historical significance in Pasadena. It is located in one of Pasadena's most established neighborhoods, and is currently for sale.
In the past 5 years, UNITE HERE has seen high-end hotels across the country convert partially or sometimes entirely into condominiums. These changes often cost hotel workers their jobs. "We are facing a lot of uncertainties. Ritz workers are trying to organize a union to improve our working conditions, but there's no telling what a new owner has in store for the property. This initiative is an attempt to protect our jobs and also join forces with the community to preserve the hotel," says John Amaro, cook at the Ritz-Carlton Huntington Hotel and proponent of the initiative.
The initiative seeks to uphold the integrity of the hotel and the surrounding community by requiring that any new residential development at the Huntington Hotel (Planned Development-15) conform to residential zoning requirements consistent with the surrounding neighborhoods.
UNITE HERE Local 11 represents over 10,000 hotel, food service, laundry, airport and stadium workers in the Los Angeles area. Local 11 has been assisting the Ritz Carlton Huntington Hotel's non-managerial employees to organize for over a year. For more information, see www.RitzHuntingtonWatch.info.
|Also See:||Labor Wars: A Hotel Survival Guide - Watch Out For Neutrality Agreements / Marta M. Fernandez / September 2005|