Union to Taylor Swift: Please Postpone LA Shows

Singer urged to show solidarity with striking hotel workers
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 3, 2023 10:20 AM CDT
Union Asks Taylor Swift to Postpone LA Shows
Taylor Swift fans buy concert merchandise outside Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California, on July 27.   (Scott Strazzante/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)

Taylor Swift is concluding the US leg of her earthshaking Eras Tour with six sold-out shows near Los Angeles starting Thursday night, but union officials and politicians have urged her to postpone them in solidarity with striking hospitality workers. In an open letter asking the singer to "Speak Now"—a reference to the title of her third album—officials asked Swift to postpone the shows to stop hotels from cashing in on the surge of fans coming to the area for the shows at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, NBC News reports. Unite Here Local 11 hospitality workers have been striking in waves since July 2. The union represents more than 30,000 hotel workers.

Union members, whose contracts expired last month at scores of hotels, are seeking better wages and benefits. "In Los Angeles, hotels are doubling and tripling what they charge because you are coming. The hotels are making more money than ever, but many workers cannot afford to live close to where they work," the letter states. "Some of them even sleep in their cars between shifts. Others are at risk of losing their homes. Hotel workers are fighting for their lives. They are fighting for a living wage." Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis, a Democrat who plans to run for governor in 2016, was the most senior of the dozens of state and local politicians who signed the letter, the AP reports.

Union co-president Kurt Petersen tells the Washington Post that it's "easy to find someone in every hotel who lives, who commutes two hours one way to the job." He says another wave of strikes will start during Swift's local concert dates. He says Swift hasn't responded to the letter yet but he's still hoping for a response. "I think she knows about it," Petersen says. "Hopefully she will do the right thing." (Swift reportedly handed a huge bonus to the tour's truckers.)

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