vote_lede_template.jpgAbout 850 workers at San Francisco’s Hilton Union Square hotel are voting today on whether to strike.

The workers are among some 9,000 San Francisco hotel employees who have been without new contracts since August 2009. Employees at several of the hotels have carried out a series of three-day strikes to protest the stalled negotiations.

The Hilton workers are opposing proposed increases in their workloads and health care costs, and the freezing of pensions, according to Riddhi Mehta-Neugebauer, spokeswoman for the workers’ union, Unite Here Local 2.

Mehta-Neugebauer said that despite the economic downturn, the hotel industry is rebounding and Hilton is unfairly targeting workers.

“This is just to send management a strong message that everybody knows that Hilton’s business is coming back,” she said.

She added that workers would like to get back to the negotiating table.

The hotels have claimed that in addition to a tougher economic climate, they are also facing rising health care costs.

Housekeepers, doormen, bellhops and kitchen staff are among the workers taking part in today’s strike vote, the results of which are expected tonight.

The Hilton Union Square workers could approve a three-day strike similar to one they took in April, or an extended strike, Mehta-Neugebauer said.

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  • rukiddingmeagain

    Let’s have a little truth here, Hilton Union Square has already come to agreement with Local 2 in regards to health care benefits, elder care and dependant contributions, wage increases, and work load. The Hilton Union Square wants a contract and the workers want a contract! The union apparantly does not, and is not sharing pertinent information with their members. To be stating that the above issues are still on the table is deceiving and out-right Wrong. Local 2 management has done everything possible to muddy the waters for San Francisco union workers and the union’s focus remains on expanding their presence in other locales. Yes, it is true that the other major hotels are further from agreement from Hilton, so WHY are Hilton workers being asked (again) for a strike vote.

    I wonder, and many should be wondering the same thing, who is counting the votes?? WHY are they targeting the biggest hotel in SF even though this hotel is actively working with Local 2 to get an agreement and get the workers a contract that is in the best interest of both union and management?

    Continuing boycotts and strikes are detrimental to union workers even more so than the hotels, in the long run. One should question WHY is membership down to 9,000 members from 14,000 a few short years ago? Could it be because the union has more actively worked to get companies to boycott SF rather than return to the negotiating table to get a working contract?

  • rukiddingmeagain

    Let’s have a little truth here, Hilton Union Square has already come to agreement with Local 2 in regards to health care benefits, elder care and dependant contributions, wage increases, and work load. The Hilton Union Square wants a contract and the workers want a contract! The union apparantly does not, and is not sharing pertinent information with their members. To be stating that the above issues are still on the table is deceiving and out-right Wrong. Local 2 management has done everything possible to muddy the waters for San Francisco union workers and the union’s focus remains on expanding their presence in other locales. Yes, it is true that the other major hotels are further from agreement from Hilton, so WHY are Hilton workers being asked (again) for a strike vote.

    I wonder, and many should be wondering the same thing, who is counting the votes?? WHY are they targeting the biggest hotel in SF even though this hotel is actively working with Local 2 to get an agreement and get the workers a contract that is in the best interest of both union and management?

    Continuing boycotts and strikes are detrimental to union workers even more so than the hotels, in the long run. One should question WHY is membership down to 9,000 members from 14,000 a few short years ago? Could it be because the union has more actively worked to get companies to boycott SF rather than return to the negotiating table to get a working contract?