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Union Workers Again Demonstrate at Hilton Pasadena in Ongoing Labor Dispute, 3 Cited

Published on Saturday, April 13, 2024 | 5:52 am

Pasadena police detained and issued criminal citations to three union protestors outside the Hilton Pasadena on Friday morning. This marks the second time the City has taken action against union demonstrators in the ongoing labor dispute between UNITE HERE Local 11 and hotel operator Aimbridge Hospitality.

The union workers’ demonstration was part of a months-long strike by hundreds of UNITE HERE Local 11 workers at hotels operated by Aimbridge Hospitality in the Los Angeles area. In March, the union settled with 34 other hotels.

Both Friday and at an earlier picket line demonstration in December the cited union protestors allegedly violated a municipal ordinance by using handheld bullhorns at more than five decibels above the ambient sound level. 

The union asserted that the law is unconstitutionally restrictive of free speech and that the Pasadena City Attorney misapplied the ordinance in a way that stifled workers’ First Amendment rights. 

A City official said union members are free to exercise their constitutional rights, but without violating City ordinances.

While there are many safe and lawful ways the unions can reasonably express their free speech rights, which the City supports, that expression is not unlimited, especially where it far exceeds permitted noise levels, disrupting residents’ quiet enjoyment of their property, and where it disrupts ongoing business operations inside a hotel,” said City spokesperson Lisa Derderian.

“We have been and will continue to work with the union on safe and lawful ways in which they can express their rights to free speech and demonstrations.”

Union representatives said Pasadena is the only city in Southern California that has filed criminal charges against participants in strikes at more than 60 hotels.

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