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Change to Win Unions Mobilize at More than 100 Hotels in Support of Hotel Workers Rising Campaign

Wednesday, March 1, 2006

Effort is Part of First Federation-wide Effort to Make Work Pay

Washington, DC - Hundreds of room attendants, carpenters, laborers, Teamsters, janitors, health workers and other members of the seven Change to Win unions, are taking to the streets and sidewalks of our nation this week to tell the biggest hotel chains that it's time to make hard work pay.

Union members are leafleting outside more than 100 non-union Hilton and Starwood properties in 60 cities, to let guests know that the hardworking people who keep these luxury hotels running are working for poverty wages, and in many cases, without benefits.

The mobilization is part of the Hotel Workers Rising Campaign, which was launched February 15-18 in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and New York. The campaign has now moved across North America and will continue indefinitely.

"We know that when six million voices are raised together to send a message -- that message will be heard," said Anna Burger, Chair of Change to Win. "The members of all of the Change to Win unions have come together to support the hardworking men and women in the hotel industry and we will not rest until they receive the living wages and basic benefits they deserve."

There are currently 1.3 million workers in the hotel industry, which is growing rapidly and is more profitable than ever. Still, the median hourly wage for a hotel housekeeper is $8.17. Hotel companies such as Starwood and Hilton are present in every major city, and employ a significant percentage of the full service hotel workers in the U.S. Yet wages for the same jobs vary wildly from city to city, and workers find themselves fighting to keep important benefits like health care and retirement plans, as well as their right to organize a union.

Carole Florman, 202.721.6045 direct or 202.262.1513 mobile

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