Thursday, January 07, 2010

Hotel workers march and sit-in for health benefits

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Under their last contract, members of Local 2 UNITE-HERE enjoyed full health benefits with low copays. The management of the Hilton San Francisco Union Square, the Grand Hyatt, the Palace, the Westin St. Francis, and the W Hotel want any new contract to require workers pay for their insurance.

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The workers -- roomcleaners, cooks, dishwashers, bussers, bellpersons, servers, and bartenders -- claim they can't afford any takeaways. They turned out on Tuesday to urge a boycott of the Hilton. About 160 volunteers were arrested in a peaceful sit-in.

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Labor's big guns were on hand. That's AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on the left alongside UNITE-HERE President John Wilhelm.

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Many labor stalwarts turned out in support as did health care activists.

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There were at least 1000 marchers.

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In this tourist town, these folks are what a large fraction of our stable working class looks like. Trumka and Wilhelm seem in this context a throwback to a union movement that was very different in race, ethnicity and gender from the core of today's. But on Tuesday, they were there in solidarity where they were needed.

2 comments:

Darlene said...

I can see that I have missed a lot of your posts while I was away and the one time my daughter brought down her MAC for me to use I checked in and goofed on my comment. I called Union Square Independence Square. I think Independence Square is in Philadelphia. I do apologize for misnaming your Square.

I hope the hotel workers win their benefits. No one works harder for lower pay than they do.

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