Bloomberg (read the full story here): San Francisco would rent 8,250 hotel rooms by April 26 as temporary quarantine facilities under a measure the Board of Supervisors approved Tuesday. The emergency ordinance would be in effect for three months and cost more than $180 million. It would give priority to house homeless people as well as front-line health-care and homeless-services workers. Local 2 wants city contracts with a hotel or food-service facility to guarantee basic worker rights, including health-care coverage from the first day for workers and enforced health-and-safety and wage-and-hour protections.
Marriott and other giant corporations promised last year to treat workers and communities better. But the New York Times ran an article today about how Coronavirus has revealed what these companies really think: “They just say: ‘We don’t need you. You are on your own,’” said William Gonzalez, a Local 2 member, in the article. “All the executives, Sorenson and the others, they get paid millions every year, and we just get a few dollars,” Sonya Bautista – another Local 2 member – said in the article. “We give our soul to give our best for our company. I try hard to make the rooms beautiful for guests so they will come back. It’s not fair. Marriott doesn’t care about us.”
All around the US and Canada, UNITE HERE is pushing hospitality corporations like Marriott — which made billions in profits over the last ten years — to take care of the workers who’ve made them so successful.
The blog Mission Local reported that San Francisco is going to prioritize moving seniors who don’t have housing into hotel rooms. Local 2 continues to push city officials and community activists alike to remember that hotel workers — whether they have a union or not — deserve special protections when hotels are used for emergency situations. UNITE HERE supports housing the vulnerable, but is fighting to make sure that workers have the health care they need, and that they don’t get penalized for protecting themselves.
As San Francisco signs up more hotels to provide shelter for vulnerable people during the coronavirus crisis, Local 2 has been working to make sure that hotel employees are properly protected and that they and their families receive good quality health care. This goes for all hotel workers – whether or not they are in a union hotel. The union may call you in the coming days about this, but if you haven’t already, make sure you visit www.unitehere2.org/jobs to learn more and to sign up.
When basketball season was cancelled, food workers at SF’s new basketball arena — like so many other hospitality workers — got left behind. For the last 3 weeks, they’ve been pushing to remind the Warriors that, without them, the Chase Center isn’t much of an Experience. Read more on KQED’s website.
The labor movement won some of its big demands in Congress, which passed a law that gives most workers up to $1200, plus an extra $600 per week in unemployment benefits if you are laid off (this will last four months). But Donald Trump and the Republicans gave corporations huge bailouts too, and stopped us from making sure workers keep their health care during layoffs. We’ll have more information here soon.
Larrilou told the nationwide news show about how hard it is living with the fear of coronavirus but also about not knowing when we might get back to work.
Both senators sent messages out to their supporters urging them to support UNITE HERE by donating to the union’s relief funds, which are being used to help the hardest hit people in our industries.