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San Francisco Hyatt Hotel Workers Go On Strike

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) - Hundreds of Hyatt workers walked off the job Thursday at two of the chain's San Francisco hotels, beginning a weeklong strike at Hyatt locations around the country.

Members of Unite Here Local 2 started picketing outside the Hyatt Regency at 5 Embarcadero Center and the Grand Hyatt at 345 Stockton St. at 4 a.m., part of a push to allow workers at one hotel to stand in solidarity with workers at non-union hotels owned by the same company.

"They're buying smaller hotels and they're bringing them in non-union," said Mona Wilson, a Hyatt food and beverage cashier frustrated by the terms the company is offering.

KCBS' Margie Shafer Reports:

Workers have accepted similar wage and benefits packages at the Hilton, Starwood and Intercontinental hotel chains. The Hyatt workers have additionally pressed for what the company calls a politically motivated effort to organize non-union hotels.

"Local 2 leadership is preventing its membership from receiving the back pay and the benefits that have accrued on a new contract for what we think is its own leadership growth, trying to grow its own members at other hotels," said Hyatt spokesman Pete Hillan.

The Hyatt workers' labor contract expired in 2009 and negotiations for a new contract are still under way.

Unite Here represents about 700 room cleaners, dishwashers, clerks and other workers at the Hyatt Regency and the Grand Hyatt.

The San Francisco strikes coincide with walkouts at Hyatt hotels in Chicago, Honolulu and Los Angeles, according to a Unite Here spokesperson.

Hillan said the hotels were mostly booked through next week and that guests would still receive the same level of service from managers who stepped in to fill the vacant positions.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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