For immediate release
February 13, 2006
WHAT: A nationwide tour to launch a new campaign to empower thousands of hotel workers in cities across North America as they work to improve their jobs and secure better lives for themselves and their families.
Senator John Edwards
Actor/Director Danny Glover
Mayors and other elected officials
UNITE HERE Presidents Bruce Raynor and John Wilhelm
Thousands of hotel workers
Other community, union and entertainment figures
February 15, San Francisco
February 16, Los Angeles
February 17, Chicago
February 18, Boston
(contact Amanda Cooper at [email protected] for specific details)
In recent decades, the hotel industry has witnessed the rapid consolidation and expansion of international hotel corporations. The hotel industry used to be dominated by local players and local markets. But today the industry is dominated by multimillion dollar global corporations. Hotel companies such as Hilton and Marriott are present in every major city, and employ thousands of workers.
These workers-largely minority and immigrant women-work hard to create a welcoming home away from home for business travelers and tourists. But severe understaffing coupled with an increase in room amenities like heavier mattresses and linens are hurting these workers. Wages for the same jobs vary wildly from city to city, and workers find themselves fighting to make ends meet and keep important benefits like health care and retirement plans, as well as their right to organize a union.
But hotel workers are fighting back. They are uniting across North America to send a message to hotel companies: We are determined to make our jobs safer, middle-class jobs on which we can support our families.
A recent New York Daily News opinion piece said this campaign has “the potential to be a historic turning point for the labor movement in America. â€¦ [The campaign is a] test of organized labor’s ability to become a people’s movement againâ€¦ .”
For more information visit www.hotelworkersrising.org or contact Amanda Cooper at [email protected] or by calling 212-332-9376.