For immediate release
February 19, 2010
Riddhi Mehta ([email protected])
Action comes as hotel companies report continued profits
Who and What: Hundreds of hotel workers picket the Grand Hyatt in support of boycott.
When and Where: Friday, February 19, 2010 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, San Francisco
Press Availability: 4:30pm Grand Hyatt Hotel (345 Stockton Street)
Why: Today’s action comes after nearly six months of negotiations and street actions (including strikes), in which 9,000 hotel workers have been seeking modest increases to sustain health care and retirement benefits. None of the major corporations that manage San Francisco’s hotels have expressed an interest in settling such a contract.
Meanwhile, despite the economic downturn, major hotel companies have continued to prosper. The Blackstone Group – which owns Hilton Hotels – announced that it has $12.6 billion in available capital, and expects that "the next several years will provide an unusual opportunity to invest in high-return assets." Starwood Hotels reported $188 million in profits from continuing operations for 2009. Hyatt Hotels launched a public share offering in November that netted its owners nearly $1 billion in proceeds.
"We’re determined as ever to win a good contract," said Ingrid Carp, a 29 year cook at the Hilton hotel. "It’s wrong for corporations to position themselves to make billions with the coming economic recovery, and expect us to go backward."
The active presence in the street is to urge San Francisco visitors to honor the boycotts and respect the efforts of hard working people to secure affordable health care, retirement benefits and decent working conditions.
UNITE HERE! Local 2 is the union of hotel and food service workers in San Francisco and San Mateo Counties. It represents about 12,000 workers in the hospitality industry.
Learn more at www.unitehere2.org.