News for the Hospitality Executive
Hilton Employees in Puerto Rico Detail Reasons for a Possible Strike
December 15, 2009 - Hotel workers in Puerto Rico are prepared to strike at three hotels: the Conrad Condado Plaza Hilton Hotel, the Caribe Hilton Hotel, and the El San Juan Hilton Hotel & Casino. Though negotiations between the workers and the Hilton Corporation are expected to continue, a strike is considered imminent. Major disruptions in most services would occur as the strike would involve more than 1,100 employees, including those in housekeeping, restaurants, kitchen, bars, room service, banquets, front desk, bell and door staff, swimming pool, telephone, maintenance, croupiers and slot cashiers.
Reasons for a strike
Hilton employees in Puerto Rico are fed up. At one time, their wages and benefits were on a par with most other Hilton employees in North America. But, in recent years, the company has repeatedly taken a hard line in contract negotiations in Puerto Rico, forcing employees to swallow major reductions in wages and benefits, increased workloads, and unfair and demeaning policies.
Now, many employees are only paid the minimum wage, and others only slightly more. Many are either ineligible or unable (due to high co-pays) to receive healthcare coverage, and most of the employees who do get coverage get bad coverage. There are huge differences in the pay rates and benefits among employees doing the same work. Employees have been denied their rights under federal labor law, are routinely disciplined unjustly, and subjected to verbal abuse and harassment. Health and safety standards in the hotels are abysmal because the company is simply too cheap and indifferent to remedy hazardous conditions.
This year, the company went too far. Not satisfied with systematically strangling their wages, benefits, and working conditions, Hilton attempted (according to the complaint issued by the National Labor Relations Board) to illegally impose a union of its choosing on the workers in Puerto Rico against their will, unlawfully coerced and intimidated employees and failed to negotiate in good faith.
People can only take so much abuse. These Hilton employees in Puerto Rico have finally reached their limit. That is why they have courageously joined together to make a stand, for each other, and for their families. Most of them have attended the contract negotiations in person, and they have tried hard to reason with Hilton’s negotiators – to no avail. They don’t want to strike, but they feel they have no other choice given the company’s arrogance, unreasonableness and violation of their rights.
Why We're Fighting
Hilton disciplines worker for cooperating with government agent’s request
|Also See:||Hilton Hotels Corporation Announces Addition of Three Puerto Rico Resorts / February 2009|