August 2009: Negotiations begin for new contracts covering about 9,000 San Francisco hotel workers. Hotel companies, including Hilton, Starwood, and Hyatt insist on rolling back affordable health coverage, retirement benefit levels, and propose increased workloads.
Aug. 14, 2009: The prior contract, which had been in place since 2006, expires.
October 2009: Local 2’s negotiating committee makes settlement offers to major companies that would have guaranteed labor peace for one year, and would have resulted in only a 1.5% increase to hotel payrolls. The hotels reject this offer.
Oct. 22, 2009: Workers vote overwhelmingly to authorize their negotiating committee (consisting of 125 rank-and-file leaders) to call boycotts and strikes as necessary.
Nov. 5, 2009: Grand Hyatt workers walk off the job for 3 days, and announce an ongoing boycott of their hotel. The strike coincides with Hyatt Hotels’ initial public offering, in which the company’s owners sold a 22% stake for approximately $1 billion.
Nov. 10, 2009: Palace Hotel workers announce a 3 day strike and ongoing boycott.
Nov. 18, 2009: Westin St. Francis workers announce a 3 day strike and ongoing boycott.
Dec. 16, 2009: W Hotel workers announce an ongoing boycott of their hotel.
Jan. 5, 2010: Hilton Union Square workers announce an ongoing boycott of their hotel and engage in nonviolent civil disobedience.
April 7, 2010: Hilton Union Square workers announce a 3-day strike and ongoing boycott.
June 8, 2010: Hyatt Regency workers announce a 3-day strike and ongoing boycott. The strike coincided with Hyatt’s first shareholder meeting, where they refused entry to press and reported over 50% increases in share value.
July 17, 2010: Over 200 Hilton workers staged a 45 minute work stoppage and a held a rally in the lobby to demand a fair contract.
July 22, 2010: Multi-city demonstrations against Hyatt occurred in 15 cities across North America.
Aug. 25, 2010: Over 2,000 Local 2 members and community supporters demonstrated from 7am to 7pm each day for two-days, at the Hilton Union Square.
Sept. 2, 2010: Over 600 Local 2 members and community supporters demonstrated at the Hyatt Regency Embarcadero and Hyatt Regency, SFO.
Sept. 8, 2010: Workers at the Hotel Frank and Hotel Metropolis launched ongoing boycotts of their hotels.
Sept. 15, 2010: Hilton Union Square workers overwhelmingly approve another strike at their hotel.
Oct. 13, 2010: 850 Hilton Union Square workers announce 6-day strike
Nov. 18, 2010: Responding to reports of work-related injuries in Hyatt’s housekeeping departments, community supporters from across the Bay Area rolled up their sleeves to go into the San Francisco Grand Hyatt to help the housekeepers clean their rooms.
Dec. 16, 2010: Hundreds of hotel workers demonstrate in front of the Hilton Union Square to demand their fair share of the hotel’s recovery.
Feb. 10, 2011: Multi-city demonstrations take place in 7 cities across North America against Hyatt.
We are now one year past the expiration of the citywide hotel contract, and Local 2 members are standing strong and preparing to increase the pressure against the hotel corporations. Just like the last contract fight (which lasted from 2004 to 2006), Union members across the City are mounting an escalating campaign of resistance against an industry seeking to roll back working standards that workers have struggled over decades to secure.