California Hotel Workers End 3-Day Strike
Workspan Daily
July 07, 2023

Workers who picketed 19 major Southern California hotels over the long holiday weekend were back on the job July 5, according to the Associated Press. The strike started July 2 when thousands of hotel workers walked off their jobs, demanding higher pay and better benefits in what their union called the largest strike in its history.  

Cooks, room attendants, dishwashers, servers, bellmen and front desk agents at hotels picketed outside major hotels in Los Angeles and Orange counties just as the summer tourist season was ramping up. Temporary employees were hired to cover for the striking workers.  

Last month, members of Unite Here Local 11 voted 96% in favor of authorizing the strike, the AP reported. The union is seeking better wages, improved healthcare benefits, higher pension contributions and less strenuous workloads. 

Although no progress was made, the union warned that more walkouts could come at any time. Unite Here Local 11 spokeswoman Maria Hernandez described the recent walkouts as the “first wave” in an ongoing labor action that could soon bring picket lines to 41 other hotels.

U.S. Economy Adds 209,000 jobs in June

The U.S. economy added 209,000 jobs in June, and the unemployment rate changed little at 3.6%, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.  

Yahoo! Finance reported the largest increases were seen in government, which added 60,000 jobs. In healthcare, 41,000 jobs were added last month, while 23,000 construction jobs were added. Professional and business services added 21,000 jobs. Employment in leisure hospitality ticked up by 21,000 but remains below pre-pandemic levels. Retail trade employment, which includes furniture, home furnishings, electronics, and appliance retailers, declined by 11,000 in June. 

“Today’s employment report offered additional evidence that the labor market is slowly coming into better balance as job growth slows and labor supply steadily expands,” Wells Fargo senior economists Sarah House and Michael Pugliese wrote in a note on Friday. “That said, job growth of +200K is still quite strong even if it is directionally slower than the scorching pace seen over the past year.”

EU Lawmakers Support Plan Protecting Remote Worker Rights

As reported by Bloomberg, more than 30 European Union lawmakers signed a document July 3 designed to improve remote working conditions, including ultimately ensuring access to co-working spaces, prohibiting tracking workers’ computers at home and protecting them from having to access emails outside of working hours.

The non-binding document was developed and launched by the Future Workforce Alliance, a forum of politicians, business leaders and academics focused on policy changes in response to the digital transformation of work environments. Their aim is to set out official EU guidelines and best practices for companies with hybrid or remote workers and create a legal definition of what constitutes a “healthy relationship with technology in the workplace” for employees on the job from home or in other remote locations.

The charter is building on the EU’s “right to disconnect” proposal, an earlier call to grant EU employees legal rights to switch off work-related tasks and electronic communication beyond office hours.

“The remote work, hybrid models and flexible work-life relationships are an added value for our economy, business and workers,” said Dragoș Pîslaru, chair of the European Parliament Committee on Employment and Social Affairs and a signatory of the charter. “These should not come at the cost of our people with blurred lines between personal and professional life, increasing burnout rates and loneliness.”

Pregnant Workers Fairness Act Goes into Effect

The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA), which requires that employers provide accommodations for pregnancy-related medical conditions is now law.

The Act, which took effect June 27, effectively patches a legal gap between the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) in which pregnant women could fall through the cracks in the workplace, reported CBS News

With the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, employers must now consider giving pregnant workers a range of accommodations such as access to water, closer parking, flexible hours and additional bathrooms breaks. Employers must also discuss such allowances with a pregnant worker and may not force an employee to take leave if an accommodation would allow her to remain productive on the job. 

The House Committee on Education and Labor offered examples of reasonable accommodations in its report on the PWFA. They include: providing pregnant workers with seating; water; closer parking; flexible hours; appropriately sized uniforms and safety apparel; additional bathroom, meal and rest breaks; and relief from strenuous activities as well as work that involves exposure to compounds unsafe for pregnancy.

In practice, the new law will help the three-quarters of women who will be pregnant at some point in their careers to maintain those careers. Women increasingly support their families, with 41% of mothers identifying as the sole or primary breadwinners in their households, according to the report. 

Editor’s Note: Additional Content
For more information and resources related to this article see the pages below, which offer quick access to all WorldatWork content on these topics:

Related WorldatWork Resources
UPS to Hire 100,000 Holiday Workers
Setting Compensation for Digital Nomads
As Union Activity Rises Nationwide, There Are Positive Ways to Manage It
Related WorldatWork Courses
Sales Compensation: Foundation and Core Principles
Advanced Excel Skills for Compensation Professionals
Sales Compensation: Advanced Implementation and Program Management
Be the First To Know

Get the latest news and insights in our weekly e-newsletter — featuring our most up-to-date Workspan Daily articles — delivered straight to your inbox from WorldatWork's experienced publications team.