Thursday, October 28, 2004

Angry letter from the Hotel Council:

“WHOSE MAYOR ARE YOU, MAYOR NEWSOM?”

SAN FRANCISCO – The Hotel Council of San Francisco expressed its shock and disappointment today by Mayor Newsom’s words and actions over the last few days in what amounts to an attack on the hotel industry.

“Our trust in Mayor Newsom has been shaken,” said Patricia Breslin, Executive Director of the Hotel Council, citing the Mayor’s decision to join the picket line and to call for a boycott of the 14 SFMEG hotels.

Breslin continued, “Mayor Newsom’s appearance on the picket line was a divisive action that provided no foundation of goodwill for future negotiations. His threat of a boycott of the 14 hotels is damaging to the hotel community as a whole and to the City of San Francisco. His actions against the travel and tourism industry will have a far more reaching effect than his threats to the SFMEG hotels through the negative image he has sent nationally.”

Last fiscal year the hotel tax generated over $148 million in revenue, helping to support city arts programs, low-income housing programs, cultural centers, museums, the Moscone Convention Center, and many vital city services. “With the competition for visitors and conventions fierce, the Mayor has turned against the industry that is the economic engine of this City,” said Breslin. “The role of a mediator is to provide unobstructed negotiation; we feel that his actions over the last few days have jeopardized his ability to be a neutral participant in these labor negotiations. We need a Mayor who promotes our City through positive outreach and maintains an objective involvement in disputes. We need a Mayor who represents the entire City.” The Hotel Council asks: “Whose Mayor are you, Mayor Newsom?”

The Hotel Council of San Francisco represents more than sixty (60) hotels in San Francisco. Some members are also members of the San Francisco Multi-Employer Group, which is currently negotiating with Unite Here Local 2; some members are not involved in the current negotiations, but will be negotiating in the near future; some members are non-union.

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