The Hollywood hotel was approved for $1.95M in PPP loans; its fired workers collected groceries
Former Chateau Marmont workers asked the U.S. Small Business Administration ("SBA") to ensure that Chateau Marmont comply with Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan requirements.
According to public records, the hotel was approved for a $1.95 million PPP loan on February 5, 2021, and as of April 13 the loan had been disbursed but not paid in full or charged off, according to the SBA. While the PPP program was intended to keep workers on payroll, only a small fraction of laid-off Chateau workers have been returned to their jobs.
"I gave 40 years of my life to Chateau Marmont and have been struggling as a part time pizza delivery driver while my hotel is being approved for a nearly $2 Million dollar loan. That is not right," said Carlos Barrera, Chateau Marmont garage attendant for 40 years.
The workers' demonstration contrasted the millions in aid for which the hotel was approved with the aid the workers are forced to seek because they have not been called back to work. The workers, who are supported by UNITE HERE Local 11, assembled yesterday to distribute boxes of groceries to each other and their families. Many have struggled to make ends meet and provide for their families during the pandemic.
Congress intended for PPP loans be used by small businesses to keep workers on payroll, not to subsidize large hospitality conglomerates. Yet large companies like Chateau Marmont have used a loophole in the law to apply for these limited funds. Workers want to ensure that any funds received by the Chateau are used as Congress intended: to put workers back to work.
Last March, the Chateau Marmont fired more than 200 of its workers, leaving workers who had dedicated decades of their lives to the hotel without job security or company-provided healthcare during the pandemic.
Since then, many of the hotel’s workers have spoken out about their experiences working at "Hollywood’s Playground," prompting concern from community leaders and the call for a boycott. Former worker Thomasina Gross filed a lawsuit in January alleging that she experienced race discrimination and sexual harassment while working at the hotel.
Jane Fonda and Alfonso Cuarón and other prominent actors have pledged to boycott the Chateau Marmont including Edie Falco, Lena Headey, Constance Zimmer, Nikki Bilderback, Thomas Sadoski, and Alison Pill. Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello tweeted his support of the workers late last week.
UNITE HERE Local 11 is a labor union representing over 32,000 hospitality workers in Southern California and Arizona who work in hotels, restaurants, universities, convention centers, and airports.
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