For immediate release
March 22, 2005
Kelly Dugan (UNITE HERE Local 2)
Phil Gasper (Philosophers for Justice)
PHILOSOPHERS TO PICKET WESTIN ST. FRANCIS IN SUPPORT OF HOTEL WORKERS
Members of the American Philosophical Association (APA) will picket the Westin St. Francis hotel, 335 Powell Street in San Francisco this Wednesday, March 23rd, between 4:00 and 5:00 pm.
The philosophers want to show their support for San Francisco hotel workers (members of UNITE HERE Local 2) fighting for a fair contract.
They will also be protesting the decision of the APA’s Pacific Division to hold its annual meeting at the St. Francis, one of fourteen San Francisco hotels under a UNITE HERE boycott after locking out their workers last fall and continuing to demand concessions, despite rising profit margins.
Other academic organizations, including the American Anthropological Association and the Organization of American Historians, have honored the boycott by moving their conferences to other cities.
Although the Executive Committee of the APA’s Pacific Division has been aware of the boycott for several months, most meeting participants only learned of the situation less than three weeks ago.
In early March, hotel workers sent a letter to conference participants calling on them to “Stand for Justice” and respect the boycott (see http://www.mit.edu/~shaslang/other/PAPAlabor.html.
A last minute attempt to move the conference to San Jose was unsuccessful. As a result, many APA members have canceled hotel reservations at the St. Francis or canceled their trips entirely.
Letters criticizing the Pacific Division’s decision to keep their meeting in a boycotted hotel have appeared on the APA’s website (see http://www.apa.udel.edu/apa/governance/edletters/#Blum .
Conference participants have moved several sessions out of the St. Francis into the non-boycotted Sir Francis Drake on Wednesday and Thursday, and to the University of San Francisco on Friday and Saturday.
Philosophers for Justice will hold a forum to discuss the issues raised by the hotel boycott and the APA’s failure to honor it, on Wednesday evening from 8:00-10:00 pm in the Sir Francis Drake’s Tudor A room, 450 Powell Street.