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National Civil Disobedience Day Benefits Union Scheme, Not Employees
Says American Hotel & Lodging Association

Union Uses Event as Ploy for Bargaining Pressure

Washington- July 23, 2010 -- In an attempt to bring pressure on the lodging industry in regard to bargaining for 2010 contracts covering 45,000 unionized hotel workers in 10 cities, the labor union that represents hotel workers is staging a National Civil Disobedience Day. Set for Thursday, July 22, Unite Here is targeting Chicago, Honolulu, San Francisco, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Monterey, Boston, Vancouver, Toronto, Miami, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, San Antonio, Santa Clara, and San Diego.

Despite an extremely tough economic climate over the past two years, most lodging companies have retained their 401(k) match (despite a number of companies across industries eliminating theirs), many have waived the hours eligibility tests for benefits and continue to provide opportunities for employment.

Industry prognosticators predict that all industry performance measurements, including occupancy and revenue, will start to rise slowly in 2010 and continue to strengthen in 2011. That is important because the hotel industry is vital to the U.S. economy. There are more than 49,000 lodging properties in the United States, with nearly 4.7 million rooms with $140.6 billion in sales. The industry employs approximately 1.8 million workers at properties alone and directly supports more than 7.5 million jobs.

Employment directly generated by travel and tourism overall has grown nearly 30 percent in the last 10 years, almost one and a half times larger than most other industries. The industry’s employment growth is expected to continue; the U.S. hotel industry alone will need 300,000 additional employees by 2014. The U.S. Travel Association forecasts that the U.S. travel industry will add 90,000 jobs this year.

“The irony of this event is that unions are asking workers to walk out in order to hurt the very businesses that employ them – not to mention hurt their co-workers,” said AH&LA President/CEO Joe McInerney. “As a service industry, employees are the lifeblood of our industry and critical to its success, so even in these tough economic times, hotels have bucked a common trend of cutting benefits and have continued to provide for their employees. Instead of spending time and energy on protests, we encourage unions to sit down at the table to conduct bargaining arrangements that benefit the 506,500 lodging employees in the targeted cities, as well as the union’s own interests.”

Serving the hospitality industry for a century, AH&LA is the sole national association representing all sectors and stakeholders in the lodging industry, including individual hotel property members, hotel companies, student and faculty members, and industry suppliers. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AH&LA provides members with national advocacy on Capitol Hill, public relations and image management, education, research and information, and other value-added services to provide bottom-line savings and ensure a positive business climate for the lodging industry. Partner state associations provide local representation and additional cost-saving benefits to members.

Kathryn Potter
Phone: 202.289.3130

American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA)
1201, New York Avenue, NW
USA - Washington, DC 20005
Phone: +1 202-289.3100




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