For immediate release
March 14, 2005
Julius de Vera
What: Over 100 UNITE HERE International Union officers will join in support of the Monterey Bay Travelodge workers at a Wednesday rally in front of the hotel. This rally follows more than seven months of weekly demonstrations, which have drawn over 1,200 participants. The Travelodge workers, the union and other Monterey Bay community members are protesting the alarming actions of the hotel’s Bethel, Alaska owner, Kilsoo Seo, eliminating his employees’ health insurance and pension fund programs in addition to freezing their wages.
Where: In front of the Monterey Bay Travelodge at 2030 North Fremont Street in Monterey.
When: Wednesday, March 16-5:00 -6:00 p.m. picket line and rally.
Who: UNITE HERE International Union formed from the merger of the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textiles Employees (UNITE) and the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union (HERE) last July. The new union represents over 440,000 active members in North America. The union’s International General President Bruce Raynor and the President of the union’s Hotels division, John Wilhelm, plan to speak at the rally.
The 13 housekeeping employees and UNITE HERE Local 483 members at this Travelodge near the Fairgrounds voted to call for a boycott in November 2004. All of these workers are Latino. 12 are women, and 10 live in Seaside, 2 in Marina, and 1 in Castroville.
Why: “This rally is about International Solidarity. The officers from UNITE HERE unions across the country and Canada will gather to show their support for our Travelodge workers’ struggle here in Monterey. That’s what unionism is all about,” said UNITE HERE Local 483 (Monterey Bay) Secretary-Treasurer Leonard O’Neill. The hotel’s owner, Kilsoo Seo of Bethel, Alaska, has eliminated all contributions to the employee health insurance and pension plans, while freezing hourly wages at $8.84.
Media Visuals: Marchers with colorful picket signs and slogans by large “Travelodge” sign, hotel workers in uniform, children, large union banner, internationally known speakers toward end of rally.