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San Francisco Hotels Lock Out Workers As Punishment For Standing Up For Themselves
“Americans should be outraged,” says David Bonior, Chair of national workers’ rights advocacy group

October 8, 2004

Kimberly Freeman
202-822-2127, ext. 111
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WASHINGTON, DC-As union contract negotiations resume today, 14 of San Francisco's largest hotels announced on Wednesday their intention to indefinitely extend a lock out against hotel workers.  The announcement comes days before the end of a two-week strike on September 13 initiated by members of UNITE HERE Local 2 at only 4 of the 14 hotels currently engaged in collective bargaining.

"This action demonstrates how far companies are willing to go to deny workers a say in the terms and conditions of their employment," says David Bonior, Chair of American Rights at Work, a national workers' rights advocacy organization based in Washington, DC. "Americans should be outraged when big businesses decide to punish people for standing up for themselves."

The limited strike by UNITE HERE members at 4 hotels was intended to show the resolve and seriousness of workers in their struggle to secure fair compensation, healthcare benefits and safer working conditions.  "People are fighting for their ability to send their children to college, to take of themselves when they get sick, and to protect themselves from harm on the job," says Bonior. "By locking workers out of their jobs-whether they're striking or not-hotels are acting like playground bullies. They're saying, 'Play by our rules or you won't play at all.' Last time I checked, we still lived in a democracy in America."

As the lock out erodes good faith bargaining in San Francisco, contract negotiations continue between hotel workers in Washington, DC, Los Angeles and Atlantic City.

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American Rights at Work is a leading labor policy and advocacy organization dedicated to educating the American public about the barriers that workers face when they attempt to exercise their rights to freely and fairly form unions and engage in collective bargaining.

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