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.”