Sun. May 26th, 2024
alert-–-migrants-living-in-homeless-shelters-on-la’s-skid-row-are-being-hired-to-replace-striking-hotel-workersAlert – Migrants living in homeless shelters on LA’s Skid Row are being hired to replace striking hotel workers

Hotels in Los Angeles have been hiring unhoused migrants including teenagers to replace striking workers, according to a new damning report. 

The Unite Here Local 11 union, which represents striking LA hotel workers, claims newly arrived asylum seekers staying at a Skid Row shelter have been hired to work as cleaners in the city’s hotels.

Over 15,000 LA hotel workers have been on intermittent strikes since July, affecting about 50 hotels in Southern California. The workers are demanding better wages, benefits and working conditions. 

The District Attorney has opened an investigation into labor practices in LA hotels following the claims. DA George Gascon said on Monday that he is concerned about potential wage theft and child labor law violations.

Nearly a dozen asylum seekers – mostly from Venezuela and Colombia – told the LA Times they had been hired at hotels where workers were picketing outside.

The Unite Here Local 11 union claims newly arrived asylum seekers staying at a Skid Row shelter have been hired to work at the city’s hotels

The hotels allegedly hiring migrants include Four Points by Sheraton, Le Meridien Delfina Santa Monica and the Holiday Inn LAX

DA George Gascon said at a press conference on Monday with the union and migrants that he is concerned about potential wage theft and child labor law violations

Some of the migrants hired by hotels are reportedly just teens – the LA Times spoke to a 17-year-old student at Belmont High School who said she missed two days of school to clean rooms at the Holiday Inn LAX, where his mom also works as a housekeeper. 

The boy said they were paid through Zelle by an agency called Arya Staffing Services Inc.

Migrants who spoke to the LA Times claimed they were given heavy loads, long hours and were forced to work without breaks. The paper reported some were told they would be paid $19-an-hour, but others were given no information about how much they would earn.

The hotels allegedly hiring migrants include Four Points by Sheraton, Le Meridien Delfina Santa Monica and the Holiday Inn LAX. 

Asylum seekers are not legally allowed to work for 150 days after submitting their claim, but Venezuelans were recently given Temporary Protected Status and work permits as the Biden administration looks for ways to mitigate the migrant crisis. 

Once their claims are approved, refugees and asylees are allowed to work – and employers are allowed to hire replacement workers during labor strikes. However, unions condemn it as sca-labor. 

‘If there are violations of the law, there will be severe consequences for this. We want to make sure that our community understands there will be no tolerance for the exploitation of refugees,’ Gascon said on Monday.

Unite Here organizer Hannah Petersen told the LA Times some of the migrants hired at Le Meridien Delfin were sent to LA by Texas governor Greg Abbott, who has been busing asylum seekers to progressive cities to make a point about he deems open-border policies by Democrats. 

Los Angeles’ deputy mayor Zach Seidle said that a plan was put in place earlier this year for migrant arrivals in the city, which was activated as soon as they were made aware about the bus. 

Abbott has claimed responsibility for sending over 45,000 to about half a dozen ‘sanctuary’ cities, including New York and Chicago.

In August, the LA City Council asked whether the city could sue Texas over the busing program. However, as reported by The New York Times, the city has a robust shelter system used to receiving a high number of migrants who come from the U.S.-Mexico border. 

But other cities receiving the buses have become overwhelmed with the surge of asylum seekers, with state governments in New York, Massachusetts and Illinois saying they are out of room and begging the federal government for assistance. 

Many of the migrants are staying at the Union Rescue mission on Skid Row 

Skid Row in Los Angeles pictured above 

Last week Massachusetts governor Maura Healy announced the state is ‘on the verge of reaching capacity’ and will not guarantee accommodation for migrants, as over 7,000 are currently living in shelters.

The Democrat warned the statewide emergency family shelter system will hit capacity by the end of the month, saying it has been expanding at an unsustainable rate to handle the demand from newly arriving migrant families.

Other states and cities have also struggled to find shelter for migrants.

New York City mayor Eric Adams first welcomed migrants sent north by Republican governor Greg Abbot, who argues progressive cities should share the cost of what he sees as open-border Democratic policies.

Speaking to reporters in August 2022, the mayor said: ‘As the mayor of New York, I have to provide services families that are here, and that’s what we’re going to do – our responsibility as a city, and I’m proud that this is a Right to Shelter state, and we’re going continue to do that.’

But the buses kept coming, and a year later, Adams is pleading for federal and state aid – asking a judge to suspend the Right to Shelter policy as the city struggles to find room for the 120,000 asylum seekers that have arrived since the Spring of 2022.

Adams also has limited the number of days adults and families can stay at city shelters.

In May he made major changes to the 40-year-old ‘Right to Shelter’ law that guarantees a bed for anyone who needs it in the city, as his government asked for federal and state help to deal with the surge of migrants that he now says could destroy New York as we know it.

‘This issue will destroy New York City,’ Adams has said of the influx of asylum seekers.

Migrants who spoke to the LA Times claimed they were given heavy loads, long hours and were forced to work without breaks

Over 15,000 LA hotel workers have been on intermittent strikes since July, affecting about 50 hotels in Southern California

Governor Kathy Hochul, who also first welcomed asylum seekers last year, is supporting the city’s effort to suspend a unique legal agreement that requires it to provide emergency housing to homeless people.

‘I don’t know how the right to shelter — dedicated to help those people, which I believe in, help families — can or should be interpreted to be an open invitation to 8 billion people who live on this planet, that if you show up in the streets of New York, that the city of New York has an obligation to provide you with a hotel room or shelter,’ said the Democrat.

In Chicago, Governor JB Pritzker and mayor Brandon Johnson wrote a letter to president Biden saying the situation has overwhelmed the city an its ability to help the asylum seekers. They are asking the federal government for financial aid and to waive fees for migrants’ work authorization.

Chicago has received over 18,000 migrants in a year, and the city’s leaders have warned of a humanitarian crisis unfolding, with officials saying daily arrivals in the Windy City have increased tenfold over the last weeks.

Asylum seekers have been sleeping in airports and police stations as the sanctuary city’s shelters are out of room.

Like New Yorkers, Chicago residents have opposed turning landmarks into emergency shelters, with some even asking city officials to close the city’s borders as mayor Johnson quietly signed a $29million contract with a security firm to build migrant base camps.

Meanwhile the Biden administration backtracked on its rejection of a border wall.

In a shock announcement, the Department of Homeland Security said it’s waiving 26 federal laws to start constructing a new ‘physical barrier’ that was started under Donald Trump.

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