Taylor Swift has proven to be a hot commodity, not only to her fans but also to the American economy. As a result, local hotel workers union Unite Here Local 11 is seeking the support of the music icon in its strike for better wages and against “junk fees,” which are extra charges added to room rates that help companies, not workers. .
“We want Taylor Swift to postpone her next concert until our employers agree to fair pay and our demands that we have already filed for over a month, or after our contract deadline,” said Alaink Temple, Waldorf Astoria personal concierge. . .
The singer-songwriter appeared on Time magazine’s 2017 Person of the Year issue, which named several women pushing for change (including prominent voices in the MeToo movement) as “Silence Breakers,” along with hotel employees Juana Melara and Sandra Pezqueda.
“You know, we actually worked together in 2017, where two of our housewives, Juana Malara and Sandra Pezqueda, joined Taylor as ‘silence breakers’ to Time magazine. And because of that, we know that she has always been a fierce advocate for women,” said María Hernández, a Unite Here Local 11 member and self-described “Swiftie.” “Taylor Swift has supported women throughout her career. She herself broke the silence.
In an open letter to the singer published through an ad in the Los Angeles Times, The Housewives are asking Swift to postpone her SoFi Stadium concerts starting next week in Inglewood to support fair wages for workers.
“We are hotel housekeepers in Los Angeles. We make the beds, clean the bathrooms, and take care of the needs of each guest,” the workers say in the letter. They also say that when Swift comes to town, hotels make huge profits comparable to the Super Bowl, aka “Swift Lift,” but employees and staff don’t personally see any financial gain.
“Your shows make our hotels earn a lot of money. In Los Angeles, hotels are doubling and tripling what they charge because you come. They also add junk fees on rooms, just like Ticketmaster. But we don’t see any of that,” the group says.
Some of the workers say they have even been forced to live out of their cars. “People complain about homelessness; like, seriously, this is America. This is not supposed to happen,” says Temple.
According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, Swift boosts the hotel economy in whatever city it performs in, while market research firm QuestionPro estimates that its Eras tour could boost the world economy by a whopping $5 billion.
“A lot of these hotels are going to double, sometimes triple, their rates next week when Taylor comes to town because they’re trying to line their pockets,” Hernandez said.
When Swift made a three-day stop at Chicago’s Soldier Field, the city bragged an all time record of hotel bookings and earnings for the weekend, with more than 44,000 rooms booked each night the singer was there for a total of $39 million in hotel revenue. Occupancy rates reportedly averaged 96.8 percent.
So far, negotiations on a new contract for the hotel works have not gone well for either party, Hernández said.
“We had negotiations last week, and they went the other way around,” he said, adding: “You know, they represent the man. They chose, instead of listening to their workers, they chose to leave the room and not come back.”
Workers like Ana Cortés, a housekeeper and letter signer for the Beverly Hilton, also want Swift to support striking workers in their fight for benefits and retirement payments.
“Support all the housekeepers because now we are on strike because we want to demand good benefits, for wages and pension and health insurance,” Cortés said, adding that the rate of pay for workers is simply not acceptable. “The wages we have allowed (cannot) support families and pay rent.”
Temple believes that the singer should be there for her “Swifties” which are under the control of the hotel management. “Taylor Swift has always been a person who stands up for justice and we are calling for justice for all of us,” Temple said.
A representative for Swift did not respond to a request for comment.