For immediate release
November 5, 2004
202-661-3693 or 202-352-7944
S.F. HOTEL WORKERS KICKED OFF THE JOB JOIN BALTIMORE UNION MEMBERS AT INNER HARBOR TO SAY
What: Housekeepers will be demonstrating how to professionally make hotel beds, just as they do every day in the hotels where they work
Visuals: Hundreds of workers, many in uniform, making several hotel style beds; big banners.
When: Tuesday, November 9 – 4:30 PM
Where:Intersection of Pratt and Light Streets in front of Baltimore Convention Center
Who: 200 hotel workers and union members of UNITE HERE Mid-Atlantic Joint Board; Hotel workers from San Francisco and Washington DC
Why: The UNITE HERE Mid-Atlantic Joint Board will hold a large rally to demonstrate that “Tourism works because we do!” The action will illustrate the hard work hotel staff perform everyday as a show of solidarity with hotel workers fighting for a fair contract in San Francisco, Washington and Los Angeles.
Background: Hotel workers are essential to the tourism and business travel industries in every city in America. Too often, their hard work is taken for granted. Hotel workers throughout North America are waging struggling to make jobs in the hospitality industry a road to the middle class, not a dead end in poverty. Baltimore hotel workers are part of that struggle and work for the same big companies (Hyatt, Marriot, Startwood and Hilton).
Since October 13, more than 4000 hotel workers have been locked out of their jobs by 14 San Francisco Hotels. Despite a request by San Francisco’s mayor to adopt a 90 day cooling off period and let the workers back in, the hotel association has refused. The mayor has responded by joining the picket line and vowing that the city of San Francisco would boycott the 14 hotels by not sponsoring any city events in any of them.
Also participating will be workers from Washington, DC whose contract expired September 15. They are in a labor dispute with 14 hotels in the District of Columbia, who’s most recent contract proposal reduces medical, dental and other benefits.
Throughout the country, hotel workers are showing their strength and solidarity through actions like these. Workers have done everything from wearing campaign buttons and delivering petitions to management, through getting arrested in acts of civil disobedience. Last week in Waikiki, services in two major hotels were disrupted for a day when local workers refused to cross a picket line of locked-out San Francisco workers.
UNITE HERE is the merged union of hospitality, gaming, apparel, textile and laundry workers. The new union represents nearly half a million workers in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico.