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UNITE HERE Local 8 calls for Seattle Hilton boycott

SEATTLE — As of Oct. 20, UNITE HERE Local 8 has called for a boycott of the Seattle Hilton at 6th Avenue and University Street. The approximately 100 unionized workers are fighting not only for a fair contract; they are standing up to demand a successorship agreement that would protect their jobs and their union if the hotel is sold.  The hotel’s owner, R.C. Hedreen, put the hotel on the market over the summer and has repeatedly rejected demands to protect workers’ jobs in the event of a sale.

“We could be fired any day when the hotel is sold, and replaced with minimum-wage workers,” says Chuck Cruise, a second-generation bellman at the Seattle Hilton with over 20 years experience.  “They have the power to save our jobs as a condition of sale, all we’re asking is that they use that power to take care of their workers.  We’ve given them years of loyal service.”

Even in this tough economy, hotels continue to remain profitable through a combination of layoffs, decreased work schedules and increased workloads for staff, burdening a low-wage workforce.  According to the industry’s own projections, hotels will be returning to record profits by 2012.  UNITE HERE Local 8’s members are demanding their fair share of the recovery.  Seattle cannot afford to lose any more good jobs.

UNITE HERE Local 8 says the boycott will be in effect until the hotel agrees to protect workers’ jobs if the hotel is sold. Click here for a list of hotels on the national AFL-CIO’s Do-Not-Patronize list at the request of UNITE HERE. (The Seattle Hilton boycott request does not yet appear on that national list.)

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