Countdown to strike in Puerto Rico: Demonstrations, negotiations & strike vote scheduled

NYHTC — December 10, 2009

Three major demonstrations, three more negotiating sessions, and a strike authorization vote have been scheduled for the next two weeks, giving Hilton Hotels Corporation one last chance to reach a contract settlement with hotel workers in Puerto Rico and avoid a strike.

Local 610 is calling on all of its members to attend each of these scheduled events to help the union put the maximum pressure on the company. Unless the union and management reach an agreement before Christmas, a strike is virtually inevitable at the Caribe Hilton, the Condado Plaza and the El San Juan hotels.



Six major events are planned for the next two weeks, and every member is expected to attend each of them. On Thursday, December 17, there will be a rally in front of the Condado Plaza followed by a march down the road to the Radisson Ambassador Plaza. The next day, there will be a rally at the Caribe Hilton. The day after that, there will be a final rally on the beach of the El San Juan Hotel followed by a "pre-negotiations party" that same night.

Two days after the final pre-negotiations rally, on December 21, Hilton and the union will hold the first of three scheduled negotiating sessions. Then, the next day, the union will conduct an all-day strike authorization vote outside the auditorium, while the negotiations continue inside. Members will be asked to reject Hilton's contract offer, and to authorize a strike.

On Wednesday, December 23, the final scheduled negotiating session will be held. If a settlement has not been reached by then, a strike could be called at any time thereafter.

"This is Hilton's eleventh hour in Puerto Rico," said Local 610 President Felix Mejas. He added, "It's now up to the members of this union to show the company that we are fed up, and ready to do what is necessary to obtain respect and a fair deal."