For immediate release
July 3, 2007
The hotel workers union — UNITE HERE — applauded the prospect of a major new player in the worldwide hospitality industry today when Blackstone announced its intention to acquire Hilton Hotels Corp.
"We welcome this combination," said Bruce Raynor, General President of UNITE HERE, which represents over 100,000 hotel workers throughout North America. "We enjoy a positive partnership with Hilton Hotels. And, for its part, Blackstone has demonstrated its commitment to fair treatment for thousands of hotel workers in several major markets. This combination is good news for the workers of what will be the largest hotel owner in the world."
Following major labor negotiations with Hilton in several markets during 2006, UNITE HERE and Hilton entered into a "partnership for growth." The partnership focused on improving the company’s operations while also rewarding Hilton employees. Blackstone in turn has taken a positive approach to labor relations in numerous instances over the past two years since it has greatly increased its ownership of hotels.
"For the thousands of housekeepers, bellpersons, banquet staff, waiters and waitresses affected by this transaction, we are encouraged that two responsible actors are coming together in a historic transaction that creates the largest hotel owner in North America," said John Wilhelm, UNITE HERE’s President/Hospitality Industry. "We look forward to UNITE HERE 275 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY (212) 265-7000 working with Hilton management and Blackstone ownership to deepen our relationship and continue to build a successful and responsible company."