Our Commitment to Low-Wage Workers
At CLUE we believe that people have the right to reach their potential. That every human being is equal, unique, and of infinite worth. That low-wage workers deserve power. And that one job should be enough.
So we stand with workers, demanding dignity, justice, and decent working conditions. And we accompany them until justice is won.
The Struggle for a Larger, Fairer Economy
- CLUE commemorated Ash Wednesday with laid-off workers from Cafe Figueroa (at Hotel Figueroa) and others from the LA Grand Hotel, who participated in an Occupy-style action at LA City Hall. It’s not too late to sign the petition to pressure the Santa Monica City Council to respond to November 2023’s Truth Commission hearing. And workers at 5 more hotels have tentatively settled contracts!15 February 2024
Here are just some of the injustices facing workers in low-wage industries:
- They often need to work multiple jobs to make ends meet.
- According to MIT’s Living Wage Calculator, the living wage in Los Angeles for a single parent with one child is $43.81/hour. On average, hotel workers make around $25/hour. Many housekeepers earn closer to $20/hour.
- They often suffer wage theft.
- Their compensation may force them to choose between a 4-hour daily commute or substandard housing (unattached garages without proper kitchens/bathrooms or multiple families sharing a small apartment).
- They may face retribution for raising concerns about safety or work schedules.
“Since reopening after the pandemic, hotels began to eliminate daily room cleaning. Our workloads have become brutal and take an even bigger toll on us,” says Rosa Paz, housekeeper for 23 years at the Hilton Anaheim. “We went on strike because we work really hard and deserve better. Through the strike workers from all the hotels are more united than ever. We are ready for anything, inside, outside, at the negotiating table, and won’t settle for less than we deserve.”
Solidarity is Sacred
“Justice, and only justice, you shall pursue.”– Deuteronomy 16:20
“As a single mom, I rarely get to see my six kids because I work two full time jobs to pay my $2,000 rent and keep up with other expenses,” says Yesenia Reyes, housekeeper at the Hyatt Regency LAX.
The Organized, Connected, Interfaith Movement
CLUE stands with workers in hospitality, service, healthcare, and other industries as they advocate for the right to thrive as members of society.
Our work is geographically based: committees in different areas of Southern California learn the stories of workers in their communities and the changes that they seek. Then CLUE members strategically amplify workers’ stories and calls for change.
- CLUE members bear witness to worker struggles in delegations to Management.
- They pray with workers before contract negotiations.
- They write letters of encouragement to workers.
- They attend advocacy meetings with elected officials.
- They sign on to letters of support to employers, lawmakers, and others.
- They call bosses.
Jose Preciado’s Story
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.
Recent Worker News
CLUE commemorated Ash Wednesday with laid-off workers from Cafe Figueroa (at Hotel Figueroa) and others from the LA Grand Hotel, who participated in an Occupy-style action at LA City Hall.
It’s not too late to sign the petition to pressure the Santa Monica City Council to respond to November 2023’s Truth Commission hearing.
And workers at 5 more hotels have tentatively settled contracts!
Ash Wednesday, clergy and community members from across Los Angeles joined workers for a lunch break and anointed them with ashes: the ashes are a reminder that we will all return to dust; and the anointing a reminder of our common humanity and desire to live and thrive. This sacred ritual reinforces God’s commitment to
ACTION ALERT: We need your help putting public pressure on the City of Santa Monica to investigate the exploitation of unhoused workers brought in to replace striking workers at Le Meridien Delfina; and company retaliation against striking workers at the Viceroy and Le Meridien Delfina. December 7, 2023 On the heels of a powerful Santa
CLUE celebrated the holidays on the strike lines with hospitality workers continuing to struggle for justice. And we’re thrilled to share their victories with you! Here’s a recap of December and January news to date.
Dear Friends, We’re now in the liturgical season of Advent: waiting for Christmas and the birth of Jesus. But it is more than about counting down the days between now and December 25th: at its foundation, Advent asks us to “recalibrate our hearts and minds for the justice work we are called to do,” as
Santa Monica Truth Commission – “Let us listen with a spirit of reconciliation…that we would be moved to work for justice.”
On Thursday, November 16, 2023 faith leaders, community members, and workers packed in to the basement of St. Augustine-By-The-Sea to listen deeply to stories of violence, exploitation, and retaliation at Santa Monica hotels. To bear witness to the impact of actions by hotel employers. And to commit anew to their righteous fight for
Solidarity is Sacred
Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice educates, organizes, and mobilizes religious leaders and community members to walk with workers while advocating for good jobs, safe workplaces, and healthy communities.
We can stand with low-wage workers, mostly immigrants and communities of color, because people like you support an organized and connected interfaith movement for economic justice.
Please join the movement to build an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top.