Union activists and clergy members picketed in front of the Los Angeles Airport Hilton Hotel Thursday afternoon, protesting the suspension of at least 65 hotel workers.

The dispute began Wednesday after one employee was suspended for violating hotel policy. Several dozen employees then walked off their jobs to protest not only the suspension but what they contend are grueling working conditions at the hotel. Those workers contend that they suspended by hotel management after the protest despite being willing to return to work.

A spokesman for the Unite HERE hotel workers' union puts the number of suspensions at around 75; hotel general manager Grant Coonley said about 65 workers had been suspended, pending further investigation.

Unite HERE on Friday filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board against the hotel in connections with the suspensions. The workers, most of whom are immigrants, have been suspended without pay indefinitely.

The Unite HERE hotel workers union recently joined with community and clergy activists to launch a campaign to organize workers at 13 hotels near Los Angeles International Airport.

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