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Hotel unions move closer to a strike

April 10, 2009 5:01:22 PM PDT
Some of the top hotels in New York City are demanding wage cuts for thousands of employees because of the down economy.The cuts would affect nearly 28,000 bellhops, housekeepers and waiters, many of whom make $800 a week and who can least afford the cuts.

Nobody is picketing in front of the Waldorf Astoria yet, but it and other hotels in the city are heading for a showdown with unions after a battered economy has in turn battered the tourism industry.

In January and February of last year, hotels in New York operated with about 73 percent of their rooms filled at an average rate of $232 a night. In January and February of this year, occupancy was down to less than 62 percent and rooms had been discounted to less than $200 a night. The high-end Carlyle Hotel is among those that has had to lay people off, but the managing director says he's asking for only minor concessions from the unions because there's no telling when things will turn around.


NEW YORK AND TRI-STATE AREA NEWS

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