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UNITE HERE Local 2 Launches Boycott of Comfort Suites in South City
Boycott launched of Comfort Suites SSF managed by Paramount Hospitality Management LLC. Terminated housekeepers want their jobs back.
Former housekeeping employees of the Comfort Suites and the local labor community announce a boycott of Comfort Suites South San Francisco.
Eighteen room cleaners were terminated on March 8th when David Lane, general manager and President of Paramount Hospitality Management LLC, the hotel’s operator, subcontracted out the hotel’s entire housekeeping department. Of the terminated workers, all are immigrant women, and many are single mothers. “These jobs were our life line. It is not fair for David Lane to rip up our union contract, take my job and my benefits to help the owners get richer,” says Nia Manumua, housekeeper at the Comfort Suites for 18 years.
The arbitration over the legality of the subcontracting was originally scheduled for September 7th. Three weeks before the long awaited arbitration was to take place Paramount switched lawyers and was able to postpone the arbitration further. The arbitration is now scheduled for mid-December. “It’s been six months and we’ve been patient for too long. We need to make sure the world knows how we were treated and what’s going on at the hotel,” says Miriam Villarreal, room cleaner at the hotel for 14 years.
The subcontracting of housekeeping has not only provoked a protracted labor dispute at the hotel, but concerns about the cleanliness of guest rooms at the hotel have also been raised. The quota of the subcontractor’s workers has substantially increased to 18-20 rooms – compared to 16 rooms previously cleaned. Guest complaints and photographs of guest rooms are now being logged on a Web site – http://www.BoycottComfortSuitesSSF.info – launched by the Union. “We think guests have the right to know. The Internet allows us to inform them before they arrive,” states Becky Perrine, researcher for the Union.
The Comfort Suites South San Francisco is a franchised hotel, but locally owned and managed. The hotel is owned by SSF Investments LLC, which is comprised of the following South Bay local businessmen: Rajen K. Shah of Los Altos, Bipin “Bob” Seth of Milpitas, and Hira N. Patel of San Jose. SSF Investments LLC bought the hotel in July 2001 and in late 2002 brought in David Lane of Paramount Hospitality Management LLC to operate the hotel.
The housekeepers are members of UNITE HERE! Local 2 (formerly HERE Local 340). Local 2 represents 12,000 hospitality workers in San Mateo and San Francisco counties.