Unite Here Local 11, a significant labor union in the hospitality industry, is currently involved in a labor dispute with dozens of hotels in the Los Angeles area. The union is now preparing to picket major entertainment awards shows if they remain scheduled to take place at these venues.
The events that are at risk of being picketed include The Golden Globe Awards, the American Cinematheque Awards Tribute To Helen Mirren, the Make-Up Artists & Hair Stylists Guild Awards, the ASC Awards, the International Cinematographers Guild Publicists Awards Luncheon, the CAS Awards, the Voice Arts Awards Gala, the 2023 HRTS Foundation Gala, and the Unforgettable Gala, the Asian Pacific Islander Awards. These awards shows are all set to take place at The Beverly Hilton. Additionally, the Art Directors Guild Awards, which is scheduled at the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown, and the Critics Choice Awards and the Pollstar Awards 2024, set to be held at the Fairmont Century Plaza, are also under the threat of being picketed.
The Producers Guild of America has already taken steps to relocate their ceremony to a non-struck venue, following the PGA honors previously scheduled for the Fairmont. This decision demonstrates the serious impact that the labor dispute is having on the planned events and the entertainment industry as a whole.
The union is emphasizing the fact that nearly all of these events involve creatives who belong to major Hollywood unions. It is considered a cardinal sin in organized labor to cross a picket line, and Unite Here Local 11 is urging all union members not to cross their strike lines at the hotels during any events, especially during these awards shows. The co-president of Unite Here Local 11, Kurt Petersen, expressed confidence that the shows will either have to move or cancel because no one will cross when there is a picket line out front.
The union asserts that the organizations behind these events are fully aware of the ongoing hotel labor dispute. After the union’s latest labor contract expired on June 30, Unite Here Local 11 has staged rolling strikes at major hospitality venues in an effort to secure major pay bumps for around 15,000 affected members. The union is seeking to account for the rising housing expenses in the Los Angeles area and has only reache agreements with four hotels since their summer picket lines formed.
Unite Here Local 11 has traditionally maintained close ties to Hollywood unions. The union has gained the support of the Writers Guild of America, SAG-AFTRA, Directors Guild of America, IATSE, and the Teamsters in previous drives to organize hotels. The union also supported the writers’ and actors’ strikes over the summer and fall and has experienced an outpouring of support from other Hollywood unions.
As Unite Here Local 11’s work stoppages have continued, the union has built solidarity with other unions. This solidarity has become increasingly crucial as the fight for a living wage impacts all workers, including actors, writers, and other Hollywood professionals. The extraordinary, soaring housing costs in Los Angeles have made the fight for a living wage a shared struggle for all workers in the industry.
Petersen is confident that industry organizations will pull these events from these venues in response to the threatened picket lines. The potential for no workers and guests inside these venues due to the picket lines seems to pave the way for solidarity to prevail once again. As Unite Here Local 11 continues its fight for fair wages and improved working conditions, it now looks poised to take on major entertainment events in support of its cause.