Carmel. Dozens of hotel workers and community allies commemorated one year since the change of ownership and closing of La Playa Hotel. The November 1st demonstration protested the actions of La Playa Carmel owner, Grossman Company Properties (Sam Grossman), who has hired only three of the former 113 workers since reopening the hotel in July. Over 2,000 people have participated in protests at the hotel.
The One Year STRONGER at La Playa Carmel Rally was sponsored by UNITE HERE Local 483, the labor union representing hospitality workers in the Monterey Bay area since 1937.
La Playa Carmel owner, Classic Hotels & Resorts (a subsidiary of Phoenix-based Grossman Company Properties), closed the hotel November 1, 2011, without a commitment to the workers that they would return to their jobs when the hotel reopened after remodeling. The former La Playa Hotel workers—more than half of whom had worked at the hotel for at least 20 years—want their jobs back. La Playa Carmel re-opened in July, but company CEO Matt Crow was quoted in a local newspaper reporting that only three of 113 former La Playa Hotel workers have been rehired.
La Playa Hotel Worker Justice Committee, UNITE HERE Local 483, the Monterey Bay Central Labor Council, and the California Labor Federation initiated a boycott of La Playa Carmel on July 6, 2012. These groups and their community supporters call for the rehiring of the former workers who made the hotel the “Grand Dame” that it was.
Former La Playa Hotel server Shirley Smith said, “One year later, we are still fighting for justice at La Playa. We won’t quit until we get our jobs back.”
Local 483 Secretary-Treasurer Leonard O’Neill added, “One year longer; one year stronger! For the past year—through public demonstrations, letters and petitions to the owner, comments to our public officials, visits to our website—the people of the Monterey Peninsula have made it clear that they want the former La Playa workers back. It’s about time Mr. Grossman listened.”