A complaint filed by Unite Here Local 11 in Los Angeles may presage similar legal action across the country, including in the hospitality mecca that is New York City. The hospitality union’s list of safety concerns includes:
- Protocols for cleaning hotel rooms, lobbies, restaurant dining rooms, kitchens, elevators and other premises
- Safe guest relation procedures, including front desk interactions, room check-ins and check-outs
- Ample room for distancing in locker rooms, break rooms and other employee-only spaces
- Effective training programs on pandemic-related protocols
Failure to take these concerns seriously is a critical blow to the workers who keep these businesses afloat. We all must work together as we navigate the challenges presented by this disease.
An industry ravaged by pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has taken an especially harsh toll on hospitality industry workers. The disease has not only starved the industry of revenue, but also found some of its most fertile spreading ground in the hubs of travel that are hotels and restaurants. For those who work at hospitality industry centers, it is not a matter of safety versus revenue protection. Owners and management must protect both without compromise.
Meeting post-Covid challenges
As the pandemic lurches into its second year, hospitality workers will also prioritize critical safety issues such as access to vaccinations, and continue to look to union leaders for guidance and advocacy. Legal action such as the one taking place in Los Angeles is a necessary step as we forge ahead to a post-Covid future.