September 28, 2005

The labor group known as the Change to Win Coalition held its founding convention yesterday at the Renaissance Grand Hotel in St. Louis. The coalition represents 6 million workers from seven existing unions, including the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the Service Employees International Union -- both of which broke ties with the AFL-CIO in July -- and Unite HERE, the hotel/restaurant-workers' union that disaffiliated from the AFL-CIO on Sept. 14. Anna Burger, chair of Change to Win, addressed 800 delegates at the convention, saying the representatives of the seven member unions "stand together and commit to each other and to the unorganized American workers that we will rebirth the union movement."

San Francisco's 400-room Cathedral Hill Hotel has been added to Unite HERE Local 2's list of boycotted properties. The union group had been steering boycotts against 14 other major city hotels for a year, until it lifted its boycott of the Westin St. Francis earlier this month. Meanwhile, Local 11, Unite HERE's Los Angeles branch, led protests outside the Glendale Hilton last week in pursuit of a union agreement akin to the one in place at the nearby Beverly Hilton and the one planned for the not-yet-built Hilton hotel adjacent to the Los Angeles Convention Center.