UNITE HERE Hotel Contract Campaign Update
February 18, 2005
San Francisco. On Valentine’s Day, hundreds of Local 2 members hit the streets for a picket line at the St. Francis Hotel. The Valentine’s Day action was the first picket line since the 60-day cooling off period ended and was intended to ask hotel guests to honor the boycott of the 14 Multi-Employer Group hotels and patronize other San Francisco hotels that are not involved in the current labor dispute.
Earlier in the day, the Local 2 Negotiating Committee met with management. The MEG continues to keep concessionary contract proposals on the table.
Last Friday, rank and file union leaders met to plan the next phase of the hotel contract campaign. The plans include an escalation of the boycott against the 14 MEG hotels, which began with the strike and lockout last October. To date, the boycott has been very successful as hotel customers cancel reservations at MEG hotels and take their business to other hotels. Based on data collected by Smith Travel Research, Local 2 estimates that the hotels lost at least $25 million during the strike and lockout.
Los Angeles. Despite the rain, hundreds of workers and community supporters rallied in front of the Westin Century Plaza Hotel on Friday, February 11, 2005. A delegation of community supporters met with the General Manager to show their disgust with the way housekeepers are told to clean guest room drinking glasses and for not signing a fair contract. Each community supporter presented the General Manager with a bottle of Pepto-Bismol and told him that they were sick to their stomach when they learned that glasses are cleaned in the bathroom sink with the same chemicals used to clean the toilet. They also said that they wanted this practice to stop immediately. The General Manager agreed and said that the housekeepers no longer have to clean the glasses in the guest rooms. Outside, the public was given a leaflet and a clean, clear plastic cup. The public was notified how glasses are cleaned in the Century Plaza and told that they should use the plastic cup instead of what is in the room, if they stay in the Century Plaza.
Because of Friday’s action, petition, and series of delegations, workers report that the Westin Century Plaza and the Sheraton Universal have removed all glasses from the rooms and are now using Styrofoam cups. The coffee pots, however, remain in the rooms and the housekeepers are cleaning them as usual.
You can keep up with the Hotel Workers Contract Campaign at Hotel Workers United.