On October 20, a delegation of Hilton Housekeepers visited the office of the hotel general manager and made their demands clear. “We want fair workloads” one housekeeper said, “we are overworked and many of us have pain in our backs, wrists and knees.” another worker explained. Midway through the delegation, one participant unveiled a letter signed by over 95% of the workers in the housekeeping department. The letter was addressed to the General Manager and the owner of the hotel and echoed their workload concerns.
Columbia-Sussex acquired the 600 room Anchorage Hilton in early 2006. Since the union contract expired in 2008, Columbia-Sussex has taken significant steps to compromise the long-held work standards at the hotel. Workers have had to endure over three years of wage freezes, workload increases and a refusal to pay necessary costs to keep healthcare affordable for the workers. Furthermore, in the July of 2010 the National Labor Relations board filed official complaints against the hotel alleging unlawful behavior – a month later Columbia-Sussex agreed to settle the charges.
In the last four years, workers have taken bold steps to defend their working conditions at the hotel. In the Spring of 2009, over 80% of workers took the bold step of signing a petition that announced that they would call on the public to honor a boycott of their hotel. Today, that boycott remains in effect.