The MLB Players Association is stepping up to the plate for workers impacted by the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.
The union on Saturday called out an upscale Los Angeles-area hotel amid its public feud with former employees who say they were laid off in the early days of the pandemic -- and weren't given back their jobs as promised.
The players demanded that all workers be rehired at the Langham Pasadena, which reportedly served up pink slips to roughly 470 workers in April. The hotel since reopened in July -- apparently with some of the workers left out in the cold, severing their incomes and health insurance.
Now, the Langham is expected to host teams playing at Dodger Stadium for the upcoming MLB playoffs. The iconic ballpark was chosen to serve as a so-called neutral bubble site so as to preclude travel and mitigate risk of further team-wide coronavirus outbreaks.
A proposed state law requiring that laid-off hotel workers be retained and recalled when business resumes was passed, and has been awaiting the potential signature of Gov. Gavin Newsom.
But apparently some are still left in the lurch.
"Major League Players have long benefited from the excellent service provided by the experienced workers at the Langham Pasadena," a statement said, "and are concerned by the reports that the hotel has not rehired many of these workers now that they are resuming operations and will once again be hosting a number of MLB teams."
The statement called on Newsom to take action.
"Players stand in solidarity with these workers as they seek to protect their jobs under local law, and we urge Gov. Gavin Newsom to sign Assembly Bill 3216 extending similar protections to hospitality and service workers statewide."
The Langham's dismissal of it workers played a key role in the formation of the bill, according to a press release from a local union.
The Langham Pasadena is one of several upscale Langham hotels around the world, including locations in London, New York, Beijing, Sydney and Toronto, among others. It is owned by the Hong Kong-based property giant Great Eagle Holdings.
Forbes lists the company's market cap at $3.4B, with annual sales around $1.3B.