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UNITE-HERE Stage Large Protest in San Francisco
Over 1400 members of UNITE-Here Local 2 and their supporters marched through the streets of San Francisco last night followed by a sit in at the Hilton Hotel by Union Square. 140 people were arrested for blocking the doors to the hotel for 2 hours.
UNITE-HERE Local 2, which has been waging various street actions against the largest hotels in the city, is now escalating the struggle by calling for a boycott of 7 major hotels including the Hilton San Francisco Union Square, Grand Hyatt, Hyatt Fisherman's Wharf, Le Meridien Hotel, Palace Hotel, Westin St. Francis and the W Hotel. The workers are asking for a modest contract that would increase wages by 1.5%. These hotels are dug in against the union while having been able to produce soaring profits despite the economic crisis. The CEO for the Blackstone Group which owns the Hilton Chain made over a billion dollars in 2008 while the average union hotel workers make $30,000 a year. Local 2 is going to continue to come up with sporadic actions againgst these hotels and calls for all progressive people to come out in support.
Amongst the 140 people arrested were AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and John Wilhelm, International President of UNITE HERE (standing)