All events at Portland Hilton canceled until further notice.

Well, not exactly. But for progressive Oregonians used to attending many, many events at the Portland Hilton (as one of the few large-size unionized venues in the city), events will be shutting down.

The hotel's unionized workers - part of UNITE HERE Local 9 - are engaged in a labor dispute with the Hilton. From the Oregon AFL-CIO newsletter:

It is never easy to engage in a struggle with one’s employer, and it’s especially difficult for low-wage workers who do not have a financial safety net. The Portland Hilton workers joined together in UNITE HERE Local 9 and have been working very hard to have their basic rights respected.

The latest progressive organization to cancel an event at the Hilton is the ACLU of Oregon - who recently moved their foundation's annual banquet to another venue.

Again, the AFL-CIO newsletter:

[T]he Oregon AFL-CIO is pleased to hear from UNITE HERE Local 9 that the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon has respected the hotel workers' boycott and cancelled a their previously planned 2008 ACLU Foundation of Oregon Dinner, incurring substantial fees from the Hilton -- not to mention taking on the inconvenience of finding a new venue.

“The decision of an organization as respected as the American Civil Liberties Union to honor their boycott is an enormous boost to these workers, as it validates that they are right in standing up for themselves and their families,” wrote Oregon AFL-CIO President Tom Chamberlain in a letter to the ACLU of Oregon.


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    Wow. That's great to hear that organizations are standing behind the boycott and not having events there. There are some pretty hefty fees when you cancel an event at the Hilton.

    But I think it's in every worker's best interests for progressives (and others) to stand behind union members on things like these. It's because of unions that we have many of the worker's rights we have today. If we erode those in the unions, we'll erode them everywhere.

  • Kurt Chapman (unverified)

    What are the bargaining issues about?

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    Good to see that Oregon AFL-CIO & Unite Here are able to work together here despite the "Change to Win" breakaway.

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    Wow, thanks for the recognition, BlueO.

    Any individuals or organizations who want to show solidarity with these workers can sign a form saying that you will not "eat, sleep or meet" at the Portland Hilton until they bargain a fair contract with their workers.

    To get a form faxed to you, please leave a message for Eryn Slack at UNITE HERE, 503-230-2304, or email me at [email protected]

    UNITE HERE Local 9 is affiliated with the Oregon AFL-CIO.

    Thanks again!

    Jennifer Sargent Communications Director, Oregon AFL-CIO

  • Will Ware (unverified)

    Wow, thanks. Two peace groups I work with were considering Hilton for speaking events.

    No way we will cross an AFL-CIO picket line.

    Let us know how it works out.

    Will Ware

  • eryn slack (unverified)

    Hello everyone. Wonderful to see so much support!

    Our issues are simple, a fair housekeeping workload to avoid dangerous injuries that compound everyday from unreasonable room quotas. A fair wage increase and increases to our benefits and pension, job security in the form of no-subcontracting and leave language that is agreed to by the Hilton and our Union in many other cities.

    Will Ware, I'd love to know which groups decided not to book the Hilton. I have a letter they can send stating that they refused to choose the Hilton until workers receive a safe and fair contract. Give me a call anytime.

    In solidarity, Eryn Slack UNITE HERE Local 9 503-230-2304

    p.s Yes, the AFL-CIO has been incredibly helpful! And of course, a loud loud thank you to the ACLU for their support!

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