From today’s New York Times:
Inside the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown, a towering luxury hotel with a rooftop pool and soaring views of the city, Jason Hernandez said on Monday that things seemed normal. Housekeepers had cleaned his room. The lobby was tidy, if a little quiet.
It wasn’t until he stepped outside and encountered metal security barricades in front of the hotel’s doors and scores of people marching, chanting and banging drums that it was clear his vacation plans had collided with a major strike by thousands of hotel workers.
Roughly 15,000 housekeepers, cooks and front desk clerks across the region walked off the job over the weekend, demanding higher pay and better benefits. The strike, which started on Sunday, has coincided with a long July Fourth holiday weekend as thousands of visitors arrived for conventions, weddings and parties.
“Inside, you kind of forget,” said Mr. Hernandez, 26, who was in town for Anime Expo, a celebration of Japanese animation, and dressed as a League of Legends character in a long brown loin cloth with a teal jewel on his forehead. “Then it’s like, Oh my gosh, all this crazy stuff’s happening.”
Although Mr. Hernandez and his friends had decided to splurge on a hotel room for the expo, which drew tens of thousands of fans to downtown Los Angeles, he said he wasn’t bothered by the commotion.
“I’m for the cause, so I don’t mind it at all,” said Mr. Hernandez, a public-school teacher from Orange County, south of Los Angeles. “It’s hard to live, just in general. Everything’s going up.”
That’s a view that leaders of the union representing the workers, Unite Here Local 11, believe is reverberating widely — even among hotel guests and vacationers — in a region where workers say pay hasn’t kept pace with rents or the price of gas and groceries.
Read the complete story here.