Orange County Update October 2021

Unite Here — Laguna Cliffs Marriott Workers Win First Contract!! 

On September 28, 2021, Laguna Cliffs Marriott workers in Dana Point settled their first-ever union contract! Then on Wednesday, October 6th, with faith community watching, workers overwhelmingly voted YES to ratify it! Their first contract comes after a nearly two-year struggle of forming their union and negotiations, almost completely accomplished during an historic pandemic.

All the non-stop organizing, praying & accompaniment has resulted in life-changing improvements for everyone who works at the Laguna Cliffs Marriott!

Highlights from the contract include:

  1. $3+ pay increases for most workers!
  2. Substantially decreased workloads for Housekeepers!
  3. 16.5% service charge goes to Banquet Servers! … Previously they only received 1%! Now they have one of the highest %s in the industry!
  4. Job security! … Progressive Discipline and Just Cause Termination now required!
  5. Free union health care!
  6. Free union legal services!
  7. Improved protections for Immigrant Workers!
  8. An end to favoritism in scheduling! … seniority rules
  9. Panic buttons and Employee Safety! … Abusive guests can be prevented from returning.
  10. Pay for training new coworkers
  11. Hotel agrees to work with Unite Here’s Hospitality Training Academy (HTA) to promote diversity in hiring.
Jose Preciado (Lead Cook) and Marbella De Dios (hotel worker and Unite Here Local 11 organizer)
Testimony from Jose Preciado, Laguna Cliffs Marriott, Dana Point – Lead Cook

I used to feel so much stress. Managers made us work so hard, they gave us too many things to do in eight hours, the work of 2 or 3 people, and if you couldn’t finish you would get in trouble. They made us feel like we were slaves. I came home from work every day so sad and tired that my kids would ask, ‘What’s wrong Daddy. Is everything okay?’

But today I feel so good, I feel free. The changes we have just achieved are huge. It’s so different at work since we formed our union. Already management seems more respectful towards us, they’re not trying to give us a hard time any more. I feel more comfortable doing my job. We all know what we have to do, and we feel free and proud of our work. My coworkers and I are finally happy to work in this hotel. When I come home at the end of my shift I look different to my kids, I look happy and relaxed.

Thanks so much to CLUE and all the people who supported us. When the hotel got rid of us [during the pandemic], I felt so alone. I don’t feel alone anymore. We had so many brothers and sisters behind us, pastors and faith community, who were up there when we needed them at protests at the hotel. God talked to us and said, ‘You are not alone anymore. I promise to stay with you.’ I keep praying, saying thanks to God for everything He has done in the hotel with my brothers and sisters. You promised to help us and You did it. Now there are so many positive changes in many people’s families.

For more details and testimonies, please see the CLUE Eblast published Tues Oct 12, 2021 or contact faith-rooted organizer Adam Overton, [email protected]

Hospitality Workers Seek Two 2022 Ballot Initiatives for Greater Protections

  1. A Hotel Worker Protection Ordinance would adopt a minimum wage, panic buttons, and protection from overly burdensome workloads and excessive mandatory overtime — for ALL Laguna Beach hotel workers.
  2. A Hotel Development Initiative would require voter approval for all major hotel development projects in Laguna Beach in order to protect the community from overzealous developers.


In order to get these initiatives on the Laguna Beach ballot in 2022, workers need your help:

  1. Do you live in Laguna Beach or know people who do? We need your signatures NOW!
  2. No matter where you live, can you canvas with workers in Laguna Beach NOW in order to get the number of signatures necessary to get these on the 2022 ballot?!

Please contact Adam Overton at [email protected] to help make these protections a reality!

Workers Share Struggles and Wins at OC Congregations for Labor Day

For Labor Day, as we do most years, CLUE led Labor Pulpits at several local houses of worship in Orange County. This year we honored the contract wins of hospital workers at Community Congregational United Church of Christ in Los Alamitos, where many members had supported the Los Alamitos Medical Center workers throughout their campaign! In addition Irvine Hilton workers were honored to speak about their life-changing contract win at Irvine United Congregational Church, also the home of many staunch Clueistas who stepped up during their campaign!

Police Accountability & Anti-Racism OC

CLUE was proud to co-sponsor a sobering webinar, Examining Police Violence in OC, on September 23rd, the first angelversary of the OC Sheriff’s murder of unhoused resident, Kurt Reinhold. The webinar was organized & co-sponsored by ACLU of SoCal, Yalla Indivisible, OC Justice Initiative, Stop the Musick Coalition, and many others. In addition to the tragedy of Kurt Reinhold, speakers also touched on the unnecessary police shootings of David Sullivan (Buena Park PD) and Hector Hernandez (Fullerton PD); as well as the continued community attempts to prevent the re-opening & expansion of the James A. Musick detention facility (OC Sheriffs).

To learn how CLUE community can be involved in the Stop the Musick, Justice for Hector Hernandez, or Justice for Kurt campaigns, please contact Adam Overton at [email protected]

Santa Ana Listening Circles

Video on Grieving Loss: September 17th Listening Circle with Santa Ana Residents

Last summer, CLUE helped start a partnership between the SABHC Hub staff and Aliento, the Center for Latina/o Communities. Through this partnership, we have provided listening circles for Santa Ana residents around creating spaces to address whole-person health, emphasize self-care, healing, and restoration.

On Friday,  September 17th CLUE, SABHC, and Aliento held the September Listening Session on the topic of ways to cope with grief and the loss of family, friends, finances. More than15 residents participated in this month’s listening session. We had the opportunity to convene virtually and establish a safe space to discuss heavy and emotional subjects/personal experiences on grief. This much anticipated topic covered mindfulness exercises and evoked a variety of emotions and thoughts that are often not widely talked about. During our time together, we identified what grieving looks like, examined grief in our lives, explored how to integrate mindfulness during grief, how to determine if one is experiencing  grief or depression,  and closed the listening circle with a thought-provoking reflection.

To find out more information about participating in a listening circle, contact Faith-Rooted Organizer Lucero Garcia, [email protected]

Additional Resources from Our Allies

Tenants United Santa Ana: FB Video Link on Rent Control updates in Santa Ana

If you missed Tenants United Santa Ana on Facebook Live on Saturday, October 16th, you can watch their presentation with updates and clarifications about what has been happening with the rent control ordinance in Santa Ana! 

Click–> here to watch their most recent video on important details on what is to come in the upcoming city council meeting and how community members can continue to support rent control and just cause eviction protections.

For more information, please contact [email protected].