Richard Trumka at the Hilton Boycott

Richard Trumka at the Hilton Boycott

Boy, Trumka’s sure bringing some fire back to the labor movement.

Richard Trumka, the president of the AFL-CIO, got himself arrested along with dozens of workers boycotting the Hilton San Francisco.  The union hotel employees of UNITE HERE Local 2 have had a series of walkouts, boycotts, and rolling strikes since their contract expired in August.  Today Trumka traveled to the Hilton for a huge rally and boycott, and engaged in civil disobedience with the workers.  From the SF Chronicle:

Unionized hotel workers began a boycott of the Hilton San Francisco Tuesday with an 800-person march and a 160-person sit-in blocking the hotel lobby, which resulted in dozens of arrests, including AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.

Members of the hotel workers union Local 2 have staged a series of walkouts and boycotts since their contract expired in August. The union has sought to retain health care coverage with low co-payments, while management has insisted that the San Francisco workers pay more of the ever-rising costs.

Management representatives have said the boycotts and disruptions hurt San Francisco’s tourist industry. Union officials say profitable corporate hotel chains can afford to maintain the benefits.

The AFL-CIO has more on Local 2′s struggle for the last several months to negotiate contracts for their workers, with details on the companies and players involved.  Photo via Steve Rhodes on Flickr, with hopefully more coming soon.