Puerto Rico Hotel Strike, Winter 2009 – 2010

Puerto Rico Hotel Strike, Winter 2009 – 2010




Hotel workers in Puerto Rico are prepared to strike at three hotels: the Conrad Condado Plaza Hilton Hotel, the Caribe Hilton Hotel, and the El San Juan Hilton Hotel & Casino. Though negotiations between the workers and the Hilton Corporation are expected to continue, a strike is considered imminent. Major disruptions in most sets would occur as the strike would include more than 1,100 employees, including those in housekeeping, restaurants, kitchen, bars, room service, banquets, front desk, bell and door staff, swimming pool, telephone, maintenance, croupiers and slot cashiers.

All the beaches of Puerto Rico are, by law, open to the public, and for the duration of the strike, the beaches nearby to the hotels will be occupied by remarkable workers and hundreds of their friends and supporters. From early morning until late at night, there will be large and loud picket lines and displays outside the hotels – and especially on the beaches. Hotel guests will be welcome to come to the beach to meet with the strikers and learn more about the argument. They also, of course, have the option to go to another beach to relax and have fun.

The strike could begin at any moment, and may last for several months. Guests who have not however made reservations should book with other hotels. Those who already have reservations should cancel them.

Background

UNITE HERE Local 610 represents more than 1,100 employees at three Hilton hotels in Puerto Rico: the Conrad Condado Plaza Hilton Hotel, the Caribe Hilton Hotel, and the El San Juan Hilton Hotel & Casino. The National Labor Relations Board has issued complaints against Hilton for failing to negotiate in good faith with the workers and for intimidating and coercing them. At one time, wages and benefits at these hotels were on par with most other Hilton employees in North America. But, in recent years, the company has taken a hard line in contract negotiations in Puerto Rico, forcing major reductions in wages and benefits, increasing workloads, and imposing unfair and demeaning policies. Though negotiations between the workers and the Hilton Corporation are expected to continue, a strike is considered imminent.




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