Hotel contract talks resume Wednesday

Contract negotiations resume Wednesday between major San Francisco hotels and the union representing thousands of The City’s hotel workers.

A failure to reach a contract during the meeting will likely prompt more strikes at various hotels in the coming days, according to Local 2 Unite Here!, the union representing more than 8,000 workers at 61 city hotels.

Last month, the union staged three separate multi-day strikes at major downtown hotels following months of fruitless negotiations. The contract between the union and hotels expired Aug. 14.

The union took a break from the walkouts during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

The union said it will meet with major chains Hyatt and Intercontinental Wednesday. Health and retiree benefits and length of contract are some of the main sticking points.

“If negotiations don’t go well, [strikes are] a definite possibility,” union spokeswoman Riddhi Mehta said.

The union is not expecting a desirable contract offer Wednesday, given past offers, Mehta said.

Meanwhile, The Hotel Council of San Francisco called on the union to avoid strike activity this month, saying that such action has greatly hurt its employees and hurts The City’s economy.

“The November rolling strikes have already resulted in at least 1800 lost shifts – jobs that otherwise could have been performed by Local 2 members,” Hotel Council Executive Director Patricia Breslin said in a statement.

The strikes “call into question the decision of union leaders who order strike actions during the holiday season when these disruptive actions discourage holiday visitors and shoppers,” said Sam Singer, Hotel Council spokesman, in the same statement.
 

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