Newsom to convene meeting after hotel strike

November 9, 2009 11:56:14 AM PST
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom is expected to convene a meeting of union and hotel officials this afternoon in the wake of a three-day strike at the Grand Hyatt Sunday over the lack of a new contract for workers.

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Grand Hyatt spokesman Rory O'Connor said today the meeting is scheduled for 3 p.m. and will include several of the hotels involved in separate negotiations with the union, Unite Here Local 2.

More than 300 Grand Hyatt workers began picketing Thursday morning outside the hotel, and returned to work Sunday morning.

The workers are upset over proposed reductions in health and retirement benefits.

Grand Hyatt officials released a statement Sunday, after the strike concluded, welcoming back its employees but calling the strike "irresponsible" amid high unemployment statewide and a struggling hotel industry.

"Rather than focus on hurting our tourism economy, Local 2 should direct itself to negotiate a fair contract that takes into account the current difficult economic times," the statement read.

The union, which is negotiating separately with hotels such as the Hyatt, Hilton, Marriott, Starwood and Intercontinental, represents thousands of employees in the hospitality industry, including room cleaners, cooks, food servers, bellmen, bartenders and dishwashers.

Workers have been without a new contract since Aug. 14. A union spokeswoman said today that no further strikes are planned at this point.

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