SAN FRANCISCO -- As
the labor dispute drags on between unionized hotel workers and 14
large hotels here, the city lost its first big convention group.
Anthropological Association moved its annual meeting, slated for
this month, from the San Francisco Hilton to the Atlanta
The move deprives
San Francisco of 5,300 visitors who would have spent an estimated
$3 million in the city, according to the San Francisco Convention
and Visitors Bureau.
spokeswoman said the association rebooked for San Francisco next
year. The association is the only canceling group that was
scheduled to use the citys convention center.
The bureau does not
track cancellations at individual hotels, but the spokeswoman said,
Anecdotally we dont think there has been a lot of cancellations.
One reason may be that hotels have pretty strict cancellation
There is also the
possibility that travelers havent canceled trips to San Francisco
but -- if they do not want to cross picket lines -- have moved to
other hotels in the city, she said.
A spokeswoman for
the San Francisco Multi-Employer Group, which represents the
hotels, said there have been no cancellations of groups and
meetings at hotels because of the labor action.
And, she said,
There has been no significant impact on occupancy.
But Chip Conley,
CEO of Joie de Vivre Hospitality, which owns 18 nonunion boutique
hotels in San Francisco, said he believes his company has picked up
some business, although its impossible to know how many people are
booking with Joie de Vivre because of the labor dispute.
But we have heard
from some of our guests that they moved over to our hotels, he
The labor dispute
started on Sept. 29 as a two-week work stoppage but escalated on
Oct. 13 when the hotels locked out their 4,000 unionized
The hotels are
refusing to allow them to work until the union abandons its demand
for a two-year contract that would coincide with a negotiating
cycle with hotel workers in six other cities and in
The spokeswoman for
the San Francisco Multi-Employer Group said replacement workers and
management have been trained to fill in as room-service waiters and
other roles. Service levels have improved considerably since the
first days of the strike, she maintained.
However, some hotel
restaurants continue to offer buffets instead of full-menu service,
and some may not be offering room service. Travelers who are
concerned should check with individual hotels for services that
have been impacted, the spokeswoman said.
The dispute is
between Unite Here Local 2 and the following hotels: The Argent,
the Crown Plaza Union Square, the Fairmont, the Four Seasons, the
Grand Hyatt, the Hilton, the Holiday Inn Civic Center, the Holiday
Inn Express Fishermans Wharf, the Holiday Inn at Fishermans Wharf,
the Palace Hotel, the Hyatt Regency, the InterContinental Mark
Hopkins, the Omni and the Westin St. Francis.
reporter Laura Del Rosso, send e-mail to [email protected].