Inter Miami, Messi relocate from L.A. hotel amid worker strike; Players wanted to ‘stand with the workers’

Inter Miami and soccer star Lionel Messi have changed plans and won’t stay at a Los Angeles hotel, the Fairmont Miramar, amid a worker strike ahead of Miami’s match Sunday against LAFC at BMO Stadium, the MLS Players Association said in a statement Friday.

“The players union was very helpful when they learned about the dispute,” Maria Hernandez, a communications associate for the hotel worker union, Unite Here Local 11, said in a statement. “The players themselves really wanted to do the right thing and stand with the workers. We are very grateful. The workers are going to send them some shirts, to thank them for their solidarity.”

Unite Here Local 11 said workers walked out on strike at 13 hotels Wednesday, including the Fairmont Miramar, and the union urged Messi and his Inter Miami teammates to “stand in solidarity” with workers and “stay out of the Fairmont Miramar.” The request came as thousands of cooks, housekeepers, bellmen, servers, and other hotel workers in the Los Angeles area represented by the union hit the picket lines as they demand better pay and benefits.

“The MLSPA is proud to stand with the striking workers at the Fairmont Miramar and other LA area hotels, and we applaud the decision by MLS and Inter Miami to change hotels this weekend,” the MLSPA said in a statement. “We urge all of the hotels to reach fair contracts with their workers ASAP.”

Inter Miami and MLS did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Inter Miami (6-4-14) sits second-to-last in MLS’s Eastern Conference standings but is experiencing a surge with Messi. The team is coming off its first draw since Messi signed in July, posting a 0-0 result against Nashville on Wednesday, but the club is through to the final of the U.S. Open Cup later this month after winning the Leagues Cup with Messi in August.

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(Photo: Mitchell Leff / Getty Images)

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