Picket at the Westin San Diego at Emerald Plaza

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09/22/2010 - 5:00pm
09/22/2010 - 6:30pm

On March 25th, 2010, UNITE HERE (the hotel workers union) began a boycott of the Westin San Diego at Emerald Plaza (400 W Broadway), This boycott has come in response to a failure by the hotel’s owner, Columbia Sussex Corporation, to agree to a fair process, free of intimidation and coercion, whereby workers may decide on forming a union. In light of the company’s failure and the ongoing boycott, we ask that you discontinue any future use of the hotel until a just resolution is reached – please do not eat, sleep or meet at the Westin San Diego at Emerald Plaza.

Across the United States, cooks, housekeepers, banquet staff and other hotel workers at Columbia Sussex hotels take great pride in serving their guests and doing their jobs well. But Columbia Sussex has “rewarded” workers at four union hotels in Sacramento, Crystal City, VA, Baltimore and Anchorage for their hard work by imposing a variety of cuts, including layoffs, benefit reductions, pay freezes, higher costs for health insurance, and/or work speed-ups. These cuts have been the price of Columbia Sussex’s expansion, squeezing working conditions and compensation, to pay off $1.1 billion dollars in debt that the corporation acquired to finance the purchase of 14 hotels in 2006. .
Joan Finnsson, a Sacramento Hilton Banquet Server of 25 years, said: “They [Columbia Sussex] didn’t listen to anything we said. It was their way or no way. They wanted to take our union heath care, our union pension, our union work rights, and replace them with their own. Now many of my coworkers have lost their health insurance because of the required hours for eligibility are so high, many cannot afford the company’s health insurance and we all have lost our pension.”