San Francisco Hotel Workers End Strike; Employers Maintain Lockout
Workers at four "prominent" hotels in San Francisco on Wednesday ended their two-week strike over contract issues such as health care, but the hotels said they would maintain an employee lockout until they reached a contract settlement, the Los Angeles Times reports (White, Los Angeles Times, 10/14). About 1,400 employees represented by the union Unite Here began their strike on Sept. 29 because they said contract negotiations with their employers had stalled. Unions in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., have sought two-year contracts that would expire at the same time as those in six other cities and Hawaii. If successful, the move would give the unions additional leverage in their next contracts. Hotels in both San Francisco and Los Angeles are seeking five-year contracts (California Healthline, 10/4). Hotel owners involved in the San Francisco negotiations offered a five-year contract proposal under which workers' contributions to health care premiums would increase from $10 per month to $32.53 per month during the first year of the contract and to $273.42 per month by the fifth year (Abate, San Francisco Chronicle, 10/13).
Employees at 10 other hotels involved in negotiations did not strike (California Healthline, 10/4). However, union workers were locked out of all the hotels. According to Matthew Adams, vice president of San Francisco Multi-Employer Group, which represents the 14 hotels, hotel owners opted to continue the lockout because they had to maintain their ability to serve guests, the Times reports. A union spokesperson said the continued lockout is "an unfortunate escalation" of the dispute (Los Angeles Times, 10/14).