The threat of a hotel strike reaching across the U.S. and Canada drew closer last month as hotel workers and some prominent politicians kicked off a four-city tour to draw attention to the wages of hotel employees.
Organizers and members of union Unite Here touted their "Hotel Workers Rising" campaign with stops in Los Angeles and San Francisco, where the workers were lauded by mayors Antonio Villaraigosa and Gavin Newsom respectively.
Although the tour hit the two California cities, along with Boston and Chicago, some observers predict that New York will be the real battleground, Here, labor agreements with the city's 25,000 hotel workers are set to expire July 1, according to the New York Daily News, which also reports that the New York Hotel Trades Council has more than $20 million in its strike fund, along with a planning meeting scheduled for tomorrow with 3,000 "action team" members.
Labor contracts will expire in six major North American cities this year: Toronto, Honolulu, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Boston. In years past, contracts were neogtiated on a local basis. But with expiration dates aligned across the continent, it could be harder for even major hotel chains to weather coordinated job actions.