Two hundred unionized workers at the Sheraton Park Hotel at the Anaheim Resort have reached a labor agreement with management that includes pay hikes, pension increases and panic buttons to protect housekeepers from sexual harassment.
The agreement was ratified Wednesday, Jan. 30 with 99 percent of employees voting in support of the contract. The previous contract expired in May 2018.
Housekeepers, who currently earn $16.82 an hour, will see their wages rise to $21.81 hour by end of the contract, which expires Nov. 30, 2022. The hotel will also boost its pension contribution to employees by $38 a month and more money will be allocated to their health insurance, according to Andrew Cohen, a spokesman for Unite Here Local 11, which represents the workers.
“This is monumental,” Cohen said. “It raises the bar for hotel workers all across Orange County. We’re confident that this will be the standard for people who work in the hospitality industry.”
Sheraton officials said the hotel “is a place of hospitality and respects all of its employees.”
“We operate in accordance with all federal and California labor laws and are committed to maintaining positive relations with all of our associates,” the company said in a statement.
The portable panic buttons for housekeepers will immediately alert hotel management when a housekeeper is being sexually harassed.
The contract also includes:
- Pay hikes for tipped workers, including bellboys, busboys and bartenders
- Increased protections for pregnant workers, including extended maternity leave and quicker access to light-duty work
- Language that promotes the hiring of a diverse workforce, regardless of someone’s race or gender identity.
- Immigration language that protects workers who may be facing issues related to their immigration status
Cohen said the immigration component will be beneficial.
“If someone has an issue with their documents to prove their legal status, like work permits or their ability to work in the U.S., this will protect them for a year until their get those issues resolved,” he said.
Esperanza Brinson, a front desk supervisor who has worked at the Sheraton for 23 years, is thrilled with the new contract.
“It’s awesome,” she said. “We work hard and it’s hard to make an honest living with prices going up in Orange County. Prices have increased for everything from gas to apartments. You really have to save your money.”
This week’s labor agreement follows a gathering hundreds of hotel workers staged on Jan. 24 at the intersection of Harbor Boulevard and Katella Avenue in Anaheim during a protest for higher wages. Some were taken by police to a nearby mobile booking station where they were cited and then released for municipal code violations for blocking an intersection.
Sheraton Park is the fifteenth hotel to settle a new agreement out of 24 Southern California hotels whose workers voted to strike in December.
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