Local Hospitality Workers’ Union Calls on Santa Monica to Protect Two Dozen Restaurant Jobs

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Santa Monica hotel workers protest at the former site of Typhoon restaurant, which closed late last year.

At a protest Monday, hotel workers represented by UNITE HERE Local 11, the regional hospitality workers’ union, gathered to demand the City Council act to protect about two dozen workers who lost their jobs when the restaurant Typhoon on city-owned Santa Monica Airport land closed late last year.

The restaurant closed last year after negotiations over renewing its lease fell through and protesters demanded that the city take action to bring back more restaurant space to the site.

The protesters had four demands of the city, according to a press release sent out by UNITE HERE Local 11 on Tuesday.

The four demands were “that personnel files of Typhoon employees be retained on the property, that a policy be written to retain food service workers, that it be made a leasing priority to create more food and beverage space at the airport, and that workers be designated local hires,” according to the press release.

City officials did not respond to Next’s request for comment.

According to media reports, Typhoon shuttered its doors in November after failing to reach an agreement with the city about renewing its lease.

Owner Brian Vidor told the Santa Monica Lookout in October that the conclusion of the negotiations was not “amicable” and accused city officials of “just trying to get everyone out” at the airport.

Councilmember Kevin McKeown, however, had a different account. McKeown told the Lookout that Vidor, who is in his early 70s, “wanted to renew his lease, then sell the restaurant to a new operator and retire… When the sale fell through, he decided to quit and blame it on the city.”

UNITE HERE Local 11 represents workers at several major hotels in Santa Monica, including the Fairmont Miramar, the Loews, Viceroy, Wyndham, Le Meridien Delfina, JW Marriott Le Merigot, and the two newest hotels at the corner of 5th Street and Colorado, directly across from the Expo light rail line station.

Jason Islas
Jason Islashttp://santamonicanext.org
Jason Islas is the editor of Santa Monica Next and the director of the Vote Local Campaign. Before joining Next in May 2014, Jason had covered land use, transit, politics and breaking news for The Lookout, the city’s oldest news website, since February 2011.

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