16 people were arrested in downtown Pittsburgh late yesterday afternoon during a demonstration against the hospitality industry. 10 workers, members of UNITE HERE Local 57 which represents housekeepers, servers and other employees at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center and hotels, plus 6 organizers refused police orders to get out of the middle of 10th Street near the convention center. Police then arrested them. Union members were protesting increased work load and not enough staff to do the job adequately.
Union representatives had warned in advance there would be civil disobedience.
Similar actions were scheduled for Chicago, Honolulu, San Francisco, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Monterey, Boston, Vancouver, Toronto, Miami, Indianapolis, San Antonio, Santa Clara and San Diego. In 2010, citywide hotel contracts covering 45,000 unionized hotel workers in ten cities across the U.S. and Canada will expire and be subject to bargaining