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80 Demonstrators Cited At SF Grand Hyatt Protest

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Hotel workers protest outside the Grand Hyatt in San Francisco on July 21, 2011. (CBS)

Hotel workers protest outside the Grand Hyatt in San Francisco on July 21, 2011. (CBS)

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Police said that approximately 80 demonstrators were cited at a protest Thursday night near San Francisco’s Union Square, where hotel workers demanded an end to what they say are abuses they face on the job.

Hundreds gathered outside the Grand Hyatt San Francisco on Stockton Street near Sutter Street for the demonstration. Hotel workers say that the hotel has eliminated jobs while increasing the workload for those who remain behind.

Police spokesman Officer Albie Esparza said the demonstrators were cited for failing to obey a law enforcement officer and for being pedestrians in the roadway.

This was the latest installment in the ongoing contract dispute—the Hyatt workers’ labor contract expired in 2009 and negotiations for its replacement are still under way.

Hyatt workers who are members of the hotel union Unite Here Local 2 say that they want to retain the right to strike in support of other Hyatt workers nationwide.

In the past several months, Hyatt workers across North America have gone on strike, led demonstrations, and called for boycotts of 18 Hyatt properties.

In the Bay Area, workers have led boycotts of the Hyatt Fisherman’s Wharf, Grand Hyatt, Hyatt Regency Embarcadero and the Hyatt Regency Santa Clara.

Thursday’s demonstrations stretched beyond San Francisco, with Hyatt workers in nine cities across the U.S. picketing.

“Our bodies hurt, but Hyatt is ignoring us,” housekeeper Ofelia Martinez said in a statement released Thursday afternoon. Martinez was on strike Thursday at the Park Hyatt in Chicago. “We will no longer suffer in silence.”

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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