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Hotel housekeepers march for union representation

October 05, 2009
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LONG BEACH, CA — Hundreds of hotel workers and labor activists took to the streets last week to launch a national campaign dubbed Hope for Housekeepers that is designed to spotlight what union leaders call substandard working conditions at Hyatt Hotels and Resorts nationwide, according to the Los Angeles Times.
According to the story, the campaign is also part of an ongoing organizing effort at the Hyatt, Hilton and other non-union hotels in Long Beach.
Maria Elena Durazo, head of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, said: "We will make Long Beach a union town."
Hyatt officials rejected union allegations that the hotel abuses its housekeepers and is hostile to organized labor, the story stated.
Jeff C. Pace, general manger at the Hyatt Regency Long Beach, said: "The safety of our employees is always at the forefront of our minds. We are not anti-union. What we are is pro-employee."
Organizers are seeking a so-called neutrality agreement from Hyatt and other hotels in Long Beach that would facilitate Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees-Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union (UNITE-HERE) Local 11 representation if a majority of workers sign authorization cards supporting the union, the story noted.
Pro-union hotel workers and their supporters marched for a mile in Long Beach, hoisting a massive quilt that represented the pain and injury that housekeepers often suffer on the job, the story added.
Maria Valdivia, a housekeeper at the Hyatt Regency in Long Beach, said: "It pains me to tell my kids I don''t have time for them. But sometimes I''m so tired and so achy that I''m just worn out."
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