About 400 hotel workers at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco are walking off their jobs today to highlight months of contract disputes, according to union representatives.
The walkout marked the beginning of a planned three-day strike and was timed to coincide with the Hyatt Regency’s first-ever shareholders meeting, which is being held in Chicago this week, Unite Here! Local 2 spokeswoman Riddhi Mehta said. The company went public in November.
San Francisco workers began leaving at 6 a.m. and are walking throughout the day, Mehta said. “We know that they have the money to afford what we have on the table,” Mehta said.
The Local 2 contract expired in August 2009, and negotiations were halted six months ago after both sides failed to come to agreement, according to representatives for the Hyatt Regency.
Hotel officials condemned the strike, saying in a statement, “The union should refrain from activities aimed at jeopardizing business in San Francisco during this unprecedented economic downturn and instead expend this energy at the bargaining table, where it belongs.”
The union has also called for boycotts of eight local hotels, including the Hyatt Regency. But union representatives insisted their calls for boycotts of various hotels throughout San Francisco have not had a negative fiscal impact on the city.
“We just don’t want to waste anybody’s time if they’re going to keep bringing the same proposals to the table,” Mehta said. More walkouts and worker boycotts are expected this week at other Hyatt properties, according to Mehta.