High-profile PR man steps into hotel fight

Well-known public relations guru Sam Singer has been hired to represent the Hotel Council of San Francisco during the ongoing hotel labor dispute, the council announced Friday.

And not surprisingly, slams against the union have already begun.

Local 2 Unite Here! – which represents 9,000 hotel workers at 61 city hotels – has been staging separate, multiday strikes at various major downtown hotels during the last three weeks in order to obtain a desired contract. The contract between the union and hotels expired Aug. 14.

The union, which is in its third day of a strike at the Westin St. Francis, says the hotels are using the downward economy as an excuse to offer its low-income workers a contract that strips health benefits and pensions and imposes other draconian cutbacks. Union housekeepers make on average $30,000 per year, the union says.

Management says health care costs are skyrocketing and want workers to pay more for coverage. Managers currently pay the full cost of workers’ health care, but charge an additional $10 a month for all dependents.

Friday, the newly-hired Singer added fuel to the fight., issuing a statement that pointed out how much hotel workers in San Francisco make and how that pay compares to counterparts across the nation.

Local 2 President Mike Casey said he is disappointed the Hotel Council is becoming a partisan player in the labor dispute, which he says has not been the case in the past.

He said Singer is exaggerating workers' income, adding that it is unwise to “spin” the tale about how people who clean rooms and carry luggage are overpaid.

“All this public relations spinning serves to do is confuse people, which in the long run just lengthens the fight,” Casey said. “We're not going to back down.”

Bay Area NewsUnder the Dome

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

A cyclist heads past an artistic sign onto Page Street, a Slow Street, at Stanyan Street near Golden Gate Park on Monday, April 12, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Push to make street closures permanent meets with resistance

Hastily thrown together during the pandemic, Slow Streets program now struggles to build support

Agnes Liang, who will be a senior at Mission High School, is running for one of the two student representative seats on the San Francisco Unified School District Board of Education. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Turbulent year on school board leaves student delegates undeterred

Around this time last year, Shavonne Hines-Foster and Kathya Correa Almanza were… Continue reading

(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Three people killed in SF shootings in less than 24 hours

San Francisco police were scrambling Saturday to respond to a series of… Continue reading

Muni operator Angel Carvajal drives the popular boat tram following a news conference celebrating the return of the historic F-line and subway service on Friday, May 14, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Mayor, transit officials celebrate return of Muni service

Mayor London Breed and city transit officials gathered Friday to welcome the… Continue reading

San Francisco police investigated the scene of a police shooting near Varney Place and Third Street on May 7. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFPD shooting may prompt new body camera rules for plainclothes cops

Police chief says incident ‘should not have happened’

Most Read