For immediate release
November 2, 2009
Riddhi Mehta [email protected]
Ian Lewis [email protected]
San Francisco’s hotel workers union, UNITE HERE Local 2, made an attempt today to avert a strike by putting forth a low-cost proposal to the Hilton Corporation. Under the union’s one-year proposal, the hotel company’s labor costs would rise by less than 2%.
Since August, San Francisco hotel workers have been negotiating for a new contract with the corporations that run many of the city’s upscale hotel properties. While the union has expressed a willingness to keep cost increases exceptionally low for the coming year, the companies have pressed to lock in long-term concessions from workers. These concessions would dramatically scale back the affordability and scope of health coverage, and would increase workloads for hotel workers. This comes despite the fact that the hotel industry has posted record profits over the past five years ($110 billion in North America from 2004-2008), and that major corporate hotel companies continue to post profits amid the economic downturn.
Today’s move by the union comes after members voted overwhelmingly (by 92%) to authorize strikes if the hotel corporations do not change their aggressive stance in negotiations. The proposal, which secures affordable health coverage for the coming year, maintains pension levels, and provides for wage increases of between 15¢ and 30¢, would add less than 2% to the companies’ payroll costs.
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. For more information visit www.unitehere2.org or contact Riddhi Mehta at 707-695-2364 or [email protected].