General News

Laid-off Chateau Marmont staff protest for health insurance

Laid-off workers from the Chateau Marmont and other LA hotels held a “car caravan” Wednesday in front of the famed hotel to bring attention to their need for health insurance.

Nearly all of the legendary hotel’s 242 employees were let go in March without insurance or severance after the lockdown began. “We were terminated during a pandemic and then our health care [benefits were] taken away,” Mike Racanelli, who worked as a bellman at the hotel for five years, told Page Six. “We were left high and dry.”

Martha Moran — who worked there as a maid for 33 years and suffers from diabetes — told us, “I don’t know what I would do if I got sick.”

On Tuesday, LA councilmember David Ryu sent a letter to Chateau owner André Balazs offering to work with him to find ways to offer “basic protections” for workers and to guarantee “employer-sponsored health insurance for your laid-off workers.”

Balazs responded that in May the hotel “gave more than $250,000,” to employees. “Affected employees received equitably divided financial support based on seniority, which provided a minimum of $350 to everyone who may have worked for only months to well over $5,000 for our much treasured, long-tenured employees,” Balazs said. “All members of our team today retain full and complete health-care benefits.”

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Tina Sanders

Tina Sanders

Tina is the mind behind Gruntstuff.com, and she ideated it when she was working for an online magazine company where she used to cover US-based headlines news. She holds a degree in journalism and has more than 4.5 years of experience in an online magazine company. She had the idea while working there but when she was quite sure about starting something on her own, she took the risk and left the job to start Gruntstuff. Since then she added a few team members, and along with them, she creates General US news content on the site.

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