Hotel Contract Campaign Update
March 25, 2005
San Francisco. The Multi-Employer Group has been getting little relief as San Francisco hotel workers and supporters keep taking it to the streets with more picket lines. Hotel guests were greeted with a four-hour picket line at the Fairmont Hotel last Friday. And the actions keep getting longer and longer. This Thursday, another picket line goes up at the Palace Hotel.
Additionally, members of the American Philosophical Association picketed the Westin St. Francis Hotel on Wednesday March 23rd. The philosophers wanted to show their support for members of UNITE HERE Local 2. They were also 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. 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. A last minute attempt to move the APA 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.
Los Angeles. "Keep Hope Alive," was the catchphrase of the day as the Reverend Jesse Jackson led workers from the Century Plaza in a delegation to the office of the hotel's general manager on March 17 in another chapter in Los Angeles' hotel workers fight for a fair contract. Starting out in the employee dining room and winding his way through kitchens and work areas of the hotel, Rev. Jackson and Local 11 shop stewards got the hotel buzzing as the delegation made its way to the GM's office. Upon arriving at the executive office, chief shop steward Donald Wilson announced that the Rev. Jackson and the workers wanted to meet with the general manager. Told that the general manager was unavailable and in a meeting with the hotel's owners, Rev. Jackson requested to meet with the owners, too. The hotel's owners met with Rev. Jackson and were told about the need to find a fair resolution to the conflict immediately, particularly in light of the effect that the boycott was having on the hotel's business and the need of the hotel to maintain a dedicated and professional workforce.