Police cite 80 demonstrators at Grand Hyatt protest

July 21, 2011 11:33:01 PM PDT
Police said that approximately 80 demonstrators were cited at a protest tonight near San Francisco's Union Square, where hotel workers demanded an end to what they say are abuses they face on the job.

Hundreds gathered outside the Grand Hyatt San Francisco on Stockton Street near Sutter Street for the demonstration. Hotel workers say that the hotel has eliminated jobs while increasing the workload for those who remain behind.

Police spokesman Officer Albie Esparza said the demonstrators were cited for failing to obey a law enforcement officer and for being pedestrians in the roadway.

This was the latest installment in the ongoing contract dispute -- the Hyatt workers' labor contract expired in 2009 and negotiations for its replacement are still under way.

Hyatt workers who are members of the hotel union Unite Here Local 2 say that they want to retain the right to strike in support of other Hyatt workers nationwide.

In the past several months, Hyatt workers across North America have gone on strike, led demonstrations, and called for boycotts of 18 Hyatt properties.

In the Bay Area, workers have led boycotts of the Hyatt Fisherman's Wharf, Grand Hyatt, Hyatt Regency Embarcadero and the Hyatt Regency Santa Clara.

Today's demonstrations stretched beyond San Francisco, with Hyatt workers in nine cities across the U.S. picketing.

"Our bodies hurt, but Hyatt is ignoring us," housekeeper Ofelia Martinez said in a statement released this afternoon. Martinez was on strike today at the Park Hyatt in Chicago. "We will no longer suffer in silence."


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