Doubletree Hotel workers and their community allies rally today in San Jose demonstrating against their major hotel corporation’s refusal to settle a fair contract. They will be joined by Cindy Chavez, head of the South Bay Central Labor Council, and religious leaders. The demonstration launches a consumer boycott of the Doubletree by Hilton San Jose.
Today’s action comes after over one year of negotiations, and months of street actions which culminated in a 4-day strike in June – the first in a San Jose hotel in more than 30 years. Despite a recovering economy, Hilton is refusing to pay the money necessary to maintain the worker’s health care benefits. Hilton is also seeking wage freezes for all employees.
The Blackstone Group – which owns Hilton Hotels – recently announced that “we ended the quarter with total assets under management of $190 Billion, up 20% year over year. Our newest global real estate fund is over $12 Billion, which is the largest fund of this type ever raised. The firm has substantial dry powder capital to deploy over the next several years.” Blackstone paid its CEO, Stephen Schwarzman, $1.39 BILLION in 2008 and $702,400,000 in 2009.
"We are determined to win a good contract," said Dolores Dominguez, a 7 year Banquet Server at the Doubletree Hotel. "It’s wrong for corporations to position themselves to make billions in the coming economic recovery, and expect us and our families to go backward. We are sure the public will support us in this fight."
The contract settlement at the Doubletree by Hilton will set the contract pattern for hotels in the south bay including the Fairmont and downtown Marriott.
About UNITEHERE! Local 19: Local 19 is the union of hotel, gaming and food service workers in the Central and Silicon Valleys. It represents about 4,500 workers in the hospitality industry.