hyatt.jpgHundreds of Hyatt hotel workers are ending a weeklong strike today with a rally and march through downtown San Francisco, a union spokeswoman said.

Unite Here Local 2 members began the strike last Thursday at the chain’s two hotels in San Francisco–the Hyatt Regency at 5 Embarcadero Center and the Grand Hyatt at 345 Stockton St. The union represents about 700 room cleaners, dishwashers, clerks and other workers at those hotels.

The workers’ labor contract expired in 2009 and they have been negotiating for a new contract since then.

Union spokeswoman Julia Wong said that before the employees return to work at midnight tonight, they plan to hold a rally at Union Square this afternoon, followed by a march to the Grand Hyatt and Hyatt Regency, where another rally will be held.

The workers have been picketing outside the two hotels around the clock this week, Wong said.

At the rallies, which are scheduled for 4:15 p.m. at the Grand Hyatt and 5:30 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency, union officials will talk about what the next phase of the labor fight will be, Wong said.

“Just because we’re going back to work doesn’t mean this fight is over,” she said.

Hyatt spokesman Pete Hillan said, “Once the strike is over, we’ll welcome back our associates with open arms … we’re glad to have them back.”

Hillan said that during the strike, the two hotels have been staffed by management and employees from other Hyatt hotels in the region.

He said he was disappointed in the actions of some union operatives, who he said were harassing guests at the hotel.

“They were really getting in the face of guests coming back and forth,” he said. “It seems like they’ve really stepped up, in our view anyways, their bad behavior.”

Hillan said that earlier this year, Hyatt management offered the union a contract similar to one it signed with other hotel chains in San Francisco, but that the union is now making new demands.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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