A long running strike between San Diego Westin hotel and its workers has finally come to a halt pending a new contract. It’s been a month coming, and workers are ready to see action, particularly regarding medical benefits and overall salary. The number of employees included in the walk-out is many, ranging from housekeeping staff to banquet captains.
The strike, which lasted a little more than a month, included 162 workers from different departments in the Westin San Diego. All 162 of the workers voted to change their current contract. This small number of workers is part of a much larger nationwide strike which took place in Westin hotels across the country.
San Diego is joining the ranks of Detroit and San Jose Westins, but not all Westins. In fact, San Francisco and Maui, among others, are still in talks and on full strike until otherwise states. This leaves a whopping 7-thousand employees not working but striking against what they consider poor working conditions and low pay.
The New Contract
A new contract is in play, this much as been related by officials overseeing the close of the strike in San Diego. However, the union has refused to disclose any specifics regarding the contract or what it holds for the future of the Westin. They’ve only reported their excitement to move forward and broker the deal, and that they hope the same will come for sister hotels across the state and the country. The union, called Unite Here Local 30, is led by Bridget Browning, the president. Rachel Gumpert, the National Press Secretary for the union has said much the same
Why the Bother
Aside from the typical pay increase related scuffles, the hotel workers felt that they were being mistreated and overlooked in some ways. One of the latest “green” efforts implemented by the hotel gives guests the option to have their room cleaned during stays. This minimizes much of the need for excessive cleaning staff which would otherwise be required to clean the many rooms in the hotel. Along with this, union members
San Diego Westin, although part of the union of Westin workers across the United States, hasn’t had issue enough to organize such a strike in nearly 20-years. In fact, the last strike seen in the area in terms of Westin employees was in 2000 when Hotel del Coronado saw a one-day strike meant to solidify its stance on poor working quality and a need for greater pay.
The hope that San Diego Westin and Westin workers across the country seem to reflect is that they be treated fairly and compensated based on growing economic needs. A reflection of cost of living has not been seen at an equal level in California for quite some time, especially for workers with labor intensive or service professions.
The Westin strike is one of a few different strikes seen across the state of California, and the city of San Diego in particular. Recently, the nurses of San Diego also went on strike, hoping for better pay and proper breaks and meals. Hopefully these strikes work out for everyone, especially the city of San Diego.