LA, SF, DC hotel workers…

LA, SF, DC hotel workers vote for strike authorization

LA, SF, and DC hotel workers have voted overwhelmingly in favor of a strike.

A hotel worker in LA averages $12 an hour; in NYC, $18. Why the difference? In NYC, the hotels are 95% union, in LA, only 45%. That’s why.

The main issue is the length of the contract. Workers want a two year contract which will expire in 2006, on the same date as all the other hotel contracts nationwide. Then the bargaining, and possible strike, would be nationwide, not just local. Nationwide clout is needed against the multi-national corporations that run the hotels. Expect the companies to fight the two year contract hard.

Other issues include the vastly increased workload for workers due to several years of layoffs, as well as health benefits.

The union is savvy. They know the organizing will not just be on the picket lines, but also with politicians and communities. Hotels may be able to withstand picket lines, they do less well when faced with sustained community opposition, as their corporate image is all-important to them and to their business.

A strike is not a given, however it sure looks like it.