Hundreds of hospitality union workers file for unemployment amid coronavirus

WESTLAKE (KABC) -- As the coronavirus pandemic grows, the job market plummets.

The Los Angeles Hospitality Training Academy is usually a place where union workers can come to find jobs, but this week they're here to file for unemployment.

"We've put a remote system together so that our people from the hospitality industry can sign up for unemployment. Then we're taking their names and numbers to see if they're interested in some additional upscaling type of training," said Susan Minato Co-President of UNITE HERE Local 11.

Cristina Navarro recently got laid off as a housekeeper at the Beverly Hills Hilton.

"Right now, I'm feeling so bad for us and for our families and all our workers," said Navarro.

"Our union represents over 32,00 members in the hospitality foodservice industry so that's hotels, stadiums, convention centers, casinos, the airports all-over southern California and Arizona. And so really we believe our members are on the front lines of this pandemic that is going on," said Maria Hernandez Organizer at UNITE HERE Local 11.

On Friday, the LA Hospitality Training Academy helped upwards of 400 people file for unemployment.

The employees at the LA Hospitality Training Academy have been working around the clock to help these union workers with paperwork and filing.

But they're also doing everything they can to protect these workers from exposure to coronavirus.

"After somebody uses a computer we'll wipe it down, we have our staff wearing gloves," said Angela Viteri Human Resource Director at the LA Hospitality Training Academy.

And while people wait in line, staff are making sure everyone is practicing social distancing.

Even with the threat of COVID-19, the LA Hospitality Training Academy will remain open and provide these services for as long as they're needed.
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