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February 24, 2005

Hotel Chains Face Growing Labor Strife

As the union-led boycott of hotels drags on in San Francisco due to contract negotiations, hotels are getting a taste of a new focus by the unions in building a nationwide strategy to take on the chains.

Negotiations are now being complicated by unions' attempts to organize nationally as international hotels grow.

Unionized workers in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., for example, had sought contracts that would all expire in 2006, putting them on the same timetable as other major markets to boost their bargaining power.

Whether the unions can pull off the simultaneous expiration of contracts remains to be seen, but the resistance by employers just illustrates how much employers depend on divide-and-conquer tactics, whether dividing workers by city, by job, or into separate companies through subcontractors. The ongoing challenge for unions is to unify their memberships across these divisions, something hotels workers are taking the first steps to do.

Posted by Nathan at February 24, 2005 07:57 AM