November 03, 2004

Twenty locked-out employees from San Francisco's Sheraton Palace hotel formed picket lines outside the Sheraton Waikiki and Royal Hawaiian hotels on Friday, both Sheraton-owned properties in Waikiki, Hawaii. According to representatives for hotel employee union Unite HERE, 90 percent of employees of both properties honored the picket lines, which lasted from 3 a.m. until 7 p.m. A spokesperson for both properties claims the union's figures were exaggerated. "The disruption of our service consisted of shutting down room service and only one restaurant between the two hotels," he said. "Everything else ran on course." The picket line was initiated in response to the Hawaii properties' support of the San Francisco hotel by sending some Hawaii-based nonunionÊmanagers to work at the Sheraton Palace. Waikiki's local Unite HERE chapter has alerted four other hotels to possible picketing in the near future: the Sheraton Moana Surfrider, Sheraton Princess Kaiulani, Hyatt Regency Waikiki and Hilton Hawaiian Village. "This is the first time Unite HERE has extended itself from one city to another," a representative claimed. "It is not likely to be the last."

Last Wednesday, the Trade Show Exhibitors Association announced the sale of TS2, the Trade Show About Trade Shows, to National Trade Productions, the show's longtime producer. "NTP plans on bringing a new energy and new dynamics to the TS2 experience," said Robert Harar, NTP's chairman. "Out of the gate we are doubling the marketing budget, reducing the exposition from three days to two days, and increasing the power of the exhibitor advisory committee." TSEA will continue to act as the show's sponsor and still will hold its annual meeting in conjunction with the event.

In Atlantic City, a tentative agreement was reached Monday night between union workers and seven casino hotels, after a monthlong strike. Unite HERE local 54 approved to a five-year agreement, when a three-year deal would have put the hotels on the same schedule as other union properties in Las Vegas and Detroit. In return, union workers will receive a 28.3 percent increase in wages and pension benefits over the life of the contract, plus full health-care funding and job protection in the event a casino changes hands. The union will vote on the proposal today.

Last week, the Dallas City Council narrowly defeated an effort to reverse parts of its strict smoking ban. The amendment, which failed eight votes to six, would have exempted hotel meeting rooms from the ban.

Leading Hotels of the World announced Monday the launch of Leading Spas, a program to evaluate and certify the spas in the luxury hotel portfolio. So far, 48 spas have been granted the designation. Leading Spas will be marked with an icon in LHW's 2005 directory.