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Unions reject L.A. hotel offer

In a move that foreshadows trouble in the hotel business, union hotel workers last week rejected the latest contract offer from nine high-profile Los Angeles area hotels. The core issue: the union’s desire for a two-year contract expiring in 2006, part of a strategy to line up expiration dates in 10 major U.S. cities that year, giving the union the power to call a national hotel strike.

Hotel negotiators pushed for a five-year contract, and have threatened to begin requiring a $40 a month co-pay for health insurance.

The nine hotels involved—Sheraton Universal, Westin Bonaventure, Westin Century Plaza, Hyatt Regency Los Angeles, Hyatt West Hollywood, Millennium Biltmore, Regent Beverly Wilshire, St. Regis and Wilshire Grand—have agreed that they will lock out all union workers if the union strikes just one property.

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