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Hundreds of Hotel Workers Protest at the Andaz in West Hollywood, 63 Arrested

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A peaceful labor protest that shut down rush hour traffic on a portion of the Sunset Strip Thursday afternoon ended in numerous arrests. It was part of an effort by hotel union workers in 15 cities in the U.S. and Canada to highlight contract disputes with hotel owners.

In Los Angeles, the focus was towards the Hyatt Century City and the Hyatt Andaz in West Hollywood, where the protest took place. Workers of all types -- housekeepers, bartenders, etc -- say there have been job, hour and healthcare cuts, despite an uptick in the hotel economy. They said workplace injuries are have also increased.

Management for the Andaz has been trying to sit down at the negotiating table for two months, but union organizers refused, explained Kim Okeson, a hotel spokesperson. She said that the hotel then filed a formal federal labor law complaint on July 9th, prompting an investigation and union organizers to finally agree to a meeting. In the meantime, the hotel continues to honor an expired contract from November 30th, 2009.