May 9, 2005 – Hundreds of hotel union members and supporters took to the streets of San Francisco last week, to pressure 14 area hotels to return to the bargaining table and sign a labor contract.
The 4,300 members of Local 2 UNITE HERE have been working without a contract since last August. After a two-week strike and a 5 1/2 week lockout at all of the hotels last fall, the union and the San Francisco Multi-Employer Group agreed in November to a "cooling-off" period, with workers returning to their jobs while negotiations continued. Those negotiations broke off on February 14.
Disputes remain over health care, wages, pensions and the length of the contract.
According to the San Francisco Examiner, UNITE HERE has convinced two large conventions to move their meetings out of San Francisco as part of a boycott.
Police arrested 37 protesters Tuesday, including the union's president, about an hour into a sit-in takeover of the Hilton San Franciscoâ€™s lobby.