Holiday Inn Labor Dispute Ends as Workers OK Pact

Times Staff Writer

Millionaire developer Joe Perry, who has battled employees at his Holiday Inns in Glendale and Burbank for two years over wages, has signed a three-year contract with the employees' union that will allow some workers to receive 31% salary increases.

The agreement between Perry and the Service Employees International Union Local 100-D resulted in immediate raises for the 200 employees at the two hotels, said Don Clemons, the union's business manager. Clemons last week released details of the agreement, which was signed and ratified by the union last month.

Employees received raises ranging from 6% to 31%, Clemons said.

Lower-paid workers received the biggest raises, he said. Maids, who were among the lowest paid, were making $3.40 to $3.45 an hour before the wage increases, officials said. Under the agreement, maids now earn $4 to $4.50 an hour.

The employees also received medical insurance and vacation leave, which some had not had, union officials said.

"This was a hard struggle, but we held out because we knew we were right," Clemons said. However, union officials said wages at the two hotels still are below industry standards in Los Angeles.

Clemons said Perry, who also owns a Holiday Inn in Long Beach, was not cooperative during the long negotiations.

"He was taking the position that, if there was a new contract, there would be no raises and no medical insurance," Clemons said.

Perry could not be reached for comment last week.

Clemons said Perry's approach changed when the housekeeping staff at the Burbank hotel staged a one-day walkout last October.

"Only then did he start talking about money," Clemons said. "When that happened, Perry came back to the table and was much more realistic with his contract offer."

In early 1985, 28 maids and laundry workers walked off their jobs at the 370-room Burbank Holiday Inn, claiming Perry and their former union had drafted a contract that cut their wages and eliminated medical insurance and other benefits.

The National Labor Relations Board in 1985 charged Perry with discrimination and unfair labor practices, saying he harassed workers who engaged in labor activity and threatened to fire some of them.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World