UPDATE: Call for Hiring Black Workers at Laguna Cliffs Marriott

July 20, 2023

On Thursday, July 19, 2023, St. Mark UMC Pastor Gary Bernard Williams testified before the University of California Board of Regents, calling for the immediate hiring of Black and African American workers brought in as temporary workers during the strike by Laguna Cliffs Marriott workers.

“A fair living wage, adequate pension, healthcare, affordable housing, and human dignity should be a God-given right for every worker….That’s why we’re so sad that the Laguna Cliffs Marriott [and and others] have employed few to any Black union permanent staff and yet they use them to break a strike.”

“It is an intolerable injustice that the UC pension fund benefits–thousands of university retirees–while the workers [at these hotels are denied the same].

“We demand that the UC regents correct this injustice and stay true to its stated commitment to ‘support human flourishing,’ including economic and racial justice.

July 13, 2023

Since CLUE Board Co-Chair Rev. Gary Williams sent a letter on July 2, 2023 to the management and owners of the Laguna Cliffs Marriott, nearly 20 Black clergy and faith leaders have signed on in support of the call to negotiate a fair contract and hire Black and African American workers at the hotel.

Now, 30 local and state legislators have joined the call. As in the original letter, signatories to this letter from the California Legislature expressed alarm about poor working and living conditions of the staff at the Laguna Cliffs Marriott, particularly the failure of the hotel to hire Black workers.

They lift up the near-total absence of permanent union Black workers at the hotel, and point to the incongruity in the ease of finding Black workers through a temp agency to break the strike.

The call from CLUE and State Legislators alike is simple: negotiate a just contract, and permanently hire these Black workers to work alongside the workers already employed there: to relieve the massive understaffing at the hotel, and to finally begin to recognize the dignity of our community’s Black workers, who deserve the stability and benefits of union jobs.


We must continue to put pressure on the Laguna Cliffs Marriott and the hotel’s owners, the UC Board of Regents. Please share word of this effort far and wide.


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If you further want to express your outrage, call these leaders and let them know your concerns about the Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort and Spa hiring practices.

  • Chief Investment Officer for the UC Pension Fund, Jagdeep Singh Bachher (510) 987-9600
  • UC President, Michael V. Drake (510) 642-7464
  • Chair of the UC Board of Regents, Rich Leib (619) 992-4680
  • HR Manager of the Laguna Cliffs Marriott, Joe Garciaros (310) 925-9164

Finally, please share this post with your network by clicking on the share buttons on the left!

You have a role to play in creating a more sacred and just society! THANK YOU!


The contracts of 17,000 tourism workers at nearly 100 worksites in Los Angeles and Orange Counties just expired on Friday, June 30th. These same workers recently voted 96% in favor of going on strike unless the tourism industry begins to take seriously the indignities that they and their families must face every day as they earn poverty wages and are less and less able to afford to pay the rent, among other sky-rocketing expenses.

Not only this, it is also well-known that the hotel industry in our region has historically discriminated against the Black community, and CLUE has fought alongside the union in order to win basic diversity hiring language that specifically requires these hotels to proactively recruit Black workers.

Despite having won this language in many contracts, this can often be hard to prove, but this week some of the hotels have been finally showing their true colors. While these companies often say to us that ‘it’s difficult to find Black workers to fill these jobs’, or that ‘Black workers don’t want these jobs’, when it comes to hiring temporary strike breakers, they seem to be finding and hiring Black workers with no problem

One of these hotels in Orange County – the Laguna Cliffs Marriott Spa & Resort – where out of 200+ workers currently has approximately one Black worker. However, with the threat of those workers going on strike this weekend, management at the Laguna Cliffs has somehow just found a large group of Black workers to temporarily replace their permanent employees.