SALINAS, Calif. (KION) Hospitality workers are holding a rally in support of the Hospitality Workers Right-to-Recall Ordinance introduced by the Monterey County Board of Supervisors.
The ordinance would guarantee recall rights for hospitality workers laid off during the pandemic and guarantee the right for workers to get their former jobs back
Luis Aviles and his wife are part of thousands of hospitality workers who lost their jobs during the pandemic.
For two decades, Aviles and his wife worked at a hotel. Not working has affected his family both mentally and emotionally, he said. And they are at risk of losing their home.
“It would help us because I have worked there for a long time," Aviles today. "They wouldn’t need to train us again, we already know how to do the job. And we enjoyed the job we did.”
According to the union UNITE HERE Local 483, about 90% of hotel workers are out of work nationally.
The executive director of the Monterey Bay Central Labor Council, Cesar Lara said the local ordinance protects workers by ensuring that workers get rehired.
“One is a private, right of action, which means that not just being able to file with the Labor Commissioner, but also be able to go to court and say, I want my job back," said Lara. "I have this law in Monterey County, this ordinance. This allows me to come here to court and ask for them to justify why it wasn't recalled back.”
But, there is a pushback, the Monterey County Business Alliance sent a letter to the County Supervisors stating they oppose the ordinance. They believe government should not tell businesses which employees to hire or rehire.
“We don't really believe that there's any documented evidence where employers have not been
hiring back their employees," said Salinas Valley Chamber of Commerce CEO Paul Farmer. "The concern is that they might let go of more senior employees who cost more and hire people who are younger, who may cost less. We understand that concern, we haven't really seen any actual examples of that happening."
The county is expected to vote on this ordinance tomorrow morning and a majority vote is needed to pass the ordinance.