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Support workers at Seattle’s Westin, Hilton hotels

SEATTLE (Aug. 25) — This summer, union contracts covering more than 1,400 workers have expired at Seattle-area hotels and restaurants, including the Westin and Downtown Hilton hotels.

Although both the Hilton and the Westin have made some movement toward fair contracts, the union reports that management negotiators have yet to show any willingness to address the issues of most concern to the workers: job security in the form of successorship language (the Hilton is up for sale) and a guarantee of no subcontracting. The union is also asking for card-check neutrality for any new hotels owned or operated by Starwood (Westin) or Hilton.

Hundreds of unionized living-wage jobs are at stake. See yesterday’s Huffington Post report — “As hotels outsource jobs, workers lose hold on living wage” — to learn why this issue is so important.

TAKE A STAND! The Washington State Labor Council and the M.L. King County Labor Council are asking their affiliated unions to send letters to management stating support for hotel workers and indicating that any future boycott of their hotels will be honored, should it become necessary. (Download a template letter.)

“We need to demonstrate to hotel employers that refusing to grant workers basic protection and the right to organize will result in a show of solidarity from the labor community,” said David Freiboth, MLKCLC Executive Secretary.

Please address individual letters to:

Frank Finneran, General Manager
Hilton Seattle Hotel
1301 Sixth Avenue
Seattle, WA 98101

Elisabeth James, General Manager
Westin Seattle Hotel
1900 Fifth Avenue
Seattle, WA 98101

Please also send copies of your letters to Jasmine Marwaha, UNITE HERE Local 8: 2800 1st Ave., Suite 3, Seattle, WA, 98121.

In his letter to the Westin, WSLC President Jeff Johnson writes:

The Seattle Westin is a flagship hotel and one that we encourage our members to patronize. Labor and our allied organizations use the Westin frequently. In fact, I spoke at the AFTRA convention there just last month. But continued patronage is contingent upon workers at the Westin having decent wages, affordable health care, retirement benefits, employment security, and basic dignity on the job.

If you or your union has an event planned at the Westin Seattle or Hilton Seattle or you have any questions, please contact Jasmine at UNITE HERE Local 8 via email or by calling 206-470-2993.

CHECK OUT THE UNION DIFFERENCE in Washington: higher wages, affordable health and dental care, job and retirement security.

FIND OUT HOW TO JOIN TOGETHER with your co-workers to negotiate for better wages, benefits, and a voice at work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!