Riding the 38L from the Richmond district to downtown has been more fun lately, since the San Francisco hotel workers (UNITE/HERE Local 2) strike and hotel owners' retaliation lockout started last week. Once the bus rolls past the Tenderloin, you start hearing workers with Filipino and Latino accents shouting Union chants--"Local 2, On Strike!"--over megaphones, and noisemakers raising a ruckus to disturb the breakfast-taking of the hotel guests. When the bus finally rolls by the Hilton on O'Farrell and Mason, I usually see about two dozen workers and supporters pacing in a long ellipse in front of the hotel's main entrance, and the sight always makes me smile. Organizing, I muse, (social justice nerd that I am) is a beautiful thing.
If you've got a few minutes or a few hours, drop by a picket and join in on the fun. Anyone who supports the (mostly immigrant and people of color) workers' cause-- they're asking for a reasonable contract that maintains their current health benefits and offers fair wage increases--can help out. The hotels that need more help because they have less workers and therefore have smaller pickets are:
Holiday Inn Civic Center on 8th Street south of Market
The Omni Hotel on California and Montgomery
Holiday Inns at Fishermans' Wharf
Also, on Tuesday, October 12th the union is holding a big rally to support the workers at 4:30pm at Union Square. For more info click here.
See you on the picket line or in the square!