SOURCE: Oakwood School

May 25, 2005 18:10 ET

Oakwood Students Urge Other Los Angeles High Schools to Pull Proms From Boycotted Hotels

Students to Hold Press Conference Outside Biltmore Hotel on Thursday at Noon

NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- May 25, 2005 -- After about 15 years of having prom at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel, the junior and senior classes of Oakwood School in North Hollywood voted overwhelmingly to move their prom elsewhere, in order to support the boycott called for by the hotel workers and their union. Students are also calling on other senior classes to pull their Prom from other boycotted hotels.

Elizabeth Landesberg, a senior student at Oakwood H.S., urged the student body to take a stand on something in their community, something with which they were already inextricably linked.

"I believe that the success of this boycott is a huge step toward raising the standard of living for workers across the country, a chance to improve greatly the plight of the working class for people in Los Angeles."

Students are extremely enthusiastic about the decision to make a difference for working people in Los Angeles. Josh Nuni ('05), co-founder of Oakwood Students for Progressive Reform, believes "Oakwood's stand on the Biltmore boycott could potentially start a movement wherein other schools would also follow through with a boycott. If this happened, the effects would be extremely beneficial to the workers' cause. This is a campaign which could have some very tangible results -- and quickly, if other students follow through."

Prom Committee member Natalie Peyser ('06) said that the students' stand "has a greater purpose than simply a high school prom. Hopefully the effect of our pulling out will be greater than simply a high school's pulling out of a hotel. It will create a situation where the hotels being boycotted will realize that it's not just the workers who want to boycott, and that we're not just a high school fighting for these workers. We're fighting for the greater issue of the quality of life of workers everywhere."

The Oakwood prom is on Saturday, May 28, and will be at the Renaissance Hotel. The Renaissance has agreed to negotiate their union contract in 2006, and is one of the hotels that the union itself recommends that people patronize. Most importantly, it is not a hotel whose workers have asked people not to support.

The Biltmore is one of eight luxury hotels in Los Angeles whose contract expired last April (the others are the Westin Century Plaza, Sheraton Universal, Hyatt Regency Los Angeles, Hyatt Regency West Hollywood, Regent Beverly Wilshire, Westin Bonaventure, and Wilshire Grand Hotel).

On November 11, 2004, 2,500 workers who are members of UNITE HERE Local 11, voted for a community boycott of all eight hotels. Hotel workers in these luxury hotels have been without a contract for the over a year. Negotiations will continue on June 3rd.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Elizabeth Landesberg
    (818) 219-1077