Union Puts New Hotel in Its Sights

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK

    Just hours after leaving a negotiation session in Gavin Newsom's office, the union representing San Francisco hotel workers hit the streets outside the Palace Hotel for a surprise three day strike.

    This is the second labor action in less than a week at a high end hotel in the city.   Last week workers walked off the job at the Grand Hyatt.

    Tuesday, bartenders, housekeepers and restaurant workers walked off the job at the Palace, telling management they will not be back for three days.   Approximately 350 workers, members of Unite Here Local 2, began  picketing at 2 Montgomery St. at about 4 a.m., union  leaders said.

    Instead of working, they held a noisy protest just outside the front door.

    According to the union, the timing of this strike coincides with a meeting at the Palace by hotel owners.  The owners are getting together to talk about the union contract.

    The two sides agree that the main sticking point is health care, but there are huge disparities about numbers.

    The union says the hotel is trying to force workers to pay $200 more a month for health care.  A management spokesman says the are only asking for $5 a month, plus a $5 co-pay per visit. 

    The walk outs come a couple weeks after hotel union workers authorized a strike at 31 hotels in the City.

    The union, which is negotiating separately with hotels including  the Hyatt, Hilton, Marriott, Starwood and Intercontinental, represents  thousands of employees in the hospitality industry, including room cleaners,  cooks, food servers, bellmen, bartenders and dishwashers.