SAN FRANCISCO (CBS / BCN) — Twenty-three hotel workers were arrested at a sit-in protesting management at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco Thursday night.

The workers were cited and released for misdemeanor trespassing after they blocked the front entrance of the hotel, Unite Here Local 2 spokeswoman Riddhi Mehta-Neugebauer said.

About 360 members and supporters of Unite Here Local 2, which represents hospitality workers for the Chicago-based hotel chain, gathered at the protest around 4:30 p.m.

Most of them picketed in front of the Hyatt Regency, located at 5 Embarcadero Center, while the others staged the sit-in, Mehta-Neugebauer said.

The protesters were cleared out by 6:30 p.m., and no one was injured in Thursday night’s event, she said.

The group was protesting what they say is hotel management’s refusal to agree to a fair contract with more than 800 of its workers in San Francisco.

Negotiations began in August 2009, and although the two sides met earlier this month, no agreement has been reached.

“Hyatt has shown no indication that they’re willing to bargain in good faith,” Mehta-Neugebauer said.

The union has organized numerous boycotts, strikes and other actions during the negotiations, which Mehta-Neugebauer said has only resulted in proposals from management that would “increase the burden of health care costs on workers…and increase workloads that would jeopardize worker safety.”

A Hyatt spokesman was not immediately available for comment Thursday, but David Nadelman, general manager of the Grand Hyatt near Union Square, said last month that union leadership should try to help bring business into San Francisco rather than boycott the hotels.

“Boycotts are not good for anybody,” Nadelman said. “If the boycott works, my associates don’t.”

The next negotiating session between the two sides is scheduled for Feb. 24, Mehta-Neugebauer said.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News contributed to this report.)

Comments (5)
  1. jon says:

    Hotel occupancy is at historically lows right now, what do these unions expect to squeeze out? Hotels aren’t making money, the city taxes every room they book already, and now their workers’ unions are demanding more benefits. I don’t think any hotels can s-h-i-t money out of the air

    1. Lisa says:

      Please who do you think you are fooling? We work there, we see daily business!
      And where are they getting these huge amounts of money to renovate every couple of years? If the rooms are not being used why would they have to change out everything? You obviously do not know what you are talking about!!!

  2. abcd says:

    Hotel occupancies have actually been increasing for awhile and credible industry analysts like PKF have repeatedly announced that the industry is in full recovery. These hotel companies are making money and their executives never stopped being millionaires, even in the depths of the recession. Just a portion of an executive’s salary would probably be enough to settle these contracts. Why shouldn’t workers be able to share in their employer’s success? After all they’re the ones making all the money for their bosses!

  3. Powell DeGange says:

    Boycott Hyatt Regency and Support the Workers!

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