Striking hotel workers tackled while picketing outside Santa Monica hotel

Striking hotel workers clashed with security at a Santa Monica hotel Saturday, while picketing more than a month into a labor strike.

On Saturday, demonstrators marched from the Viceroy Santa Monica to the Fairmont Miramar Hotel. It was at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel where private security workers tackled several picketing workers to the ground. In one cell phone video, organizer Noel Rodriguez was seen being yanked, and his arm being twisted behind his back.

"Hotel security assaulted us," Rodriguez said. "They assaulted the workers, they assaulted me and a bunch of other folks. And it was actually the police who stepped in and made them stop and made them respect our right to go in and picket."

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Santa Monica Police did not confirm those details to FOX 11, but said that the striking workers have the right to strike on hotel property, and said that both sides knew that. 

Striking hotel workers eventually did make their way onto hotel property, before rallying outside the property. During that rally, workers said the hotel played loud music, which they thought was an attempt to drown them out.

FOX 11 has reached out to the Fairmont Miramar Hotel for comment but were told no one was available.

Hotel workers across Los Angeles and Orange counties have been on strike since July 2. They include cooks, room attendants, dishwashers, servers and more, and are striking to try and negotiate higher pay and better health care and retirement benefits. They're represented by UNITE HERE Local 11, which represents more than 15,000 hospitality workers in Southern California. Contracts expired last month at more than 60 hotels, including properties owned by major chains such as Marriott and Hilton.

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"We're asking only what we deserve," said housekeeper Liliana Hernandez. "They (the hotels) got a lot of PPE loans during COVID. We got laid off. They didn't care for any of us."

While the scene at the Viceroy Hotel was much quieter, demands from workers were similar.

"I've been loyal to this place for 17 years, so I deserve to have a decent retirement," said Ignacio Ortega.

The workers said they will also continue demonstrations in downtown LA, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Long Beach, and near Los Angeles International Airport

FOX 11 has also reached out to the Viceroy Hotel for comment but has not yet heard back.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.