Pine Inn Workers Strike
February 8, 2012
The last unionized hotel in Carmel is on strike.
In the AFL-CIO's Unite Here Local 483 first strike in the region in 30 years, 28 housekeepers, front desk and maintenance workers walked off the job Wednesday for a two-day strike from Pine Inn/Tally Ho.
The strike comes after two years of failed negotiations and union protests, in which the union is demanding continued healthcare coverage for spouses and children.
"This is another case of the rich squeezing workers and our families," houseman Jose Vigil said in a statement.
General Manager John Lloyd says the union is trying to hold Pine Inn to standards more typical of large union hotels like the Hyatt, Hilton and Pebble Beach properties. "The union appears to have a lack of concern regarding the competitive disadvantage faced by the Pine Inn/Tally Ho properties with the other Carmel hotels," he said in a statement. "We firmly believe our proposal to the union is fair and equitable."
Lloyd says the hotel's original demands would've saved $380,000 per year; at the most recent negotiation session, they offered to drop most of those, cutting projected annual savings by $237,000.
Drawing from the Occupy Wall Street movement, Local 483 issued a statement condemning Pine Inn management for excessive profits: "As corporate profits soar and the economy rebounds for the rich, workers are striking in protest of management's demand to eliminate longtime employer coverage of family health insurance."
As to whether the strike helps or hinders the union's negotiating leverage, Lloyd says he doesn't know. He says hotel guests have taken no notice of the strike: "We have hired replacement workers, and everything is running smoothly just as it would if our normal workers were here. There’s no break in service."
Lloyd says he hired temporary replacement workers by advertising anticipated openings in local newspapers, including the Weekly.