SAN FRANCISCO — As the lockout of 4,000 hotel workers by the 14-hotel Multi-Employer Group continued here, workers and their union, UNITE HERE Local 2, were encouraged by several developments:

• On Oct. 28, the State of California announced that the locked-out workers are eligible for unemployment payments ranging from $250 to $400 per week.

• By the end of October, over 20 major associations and corporations had announced they were canceling or moving meetings they had scheduled at the 14 hotels. Among them: investment brokers Charles Schwab & Co., the Federal and California State Bar Associations, the U.S. Center for Disease Control, IBM, Kaiser Permanente, Catholic Health Care West and the American Anthropological Association.

• In Honolulu, UNITE HERE Local 5 workers at the Sheraton Waikiki and Royal Hawaiian hotels refused to cross picket lines set up Oct. 29 by Local 2 members led by local President Mike Casey, who had traveled from San Francisco. “We expect the vast majority of workers to respect Local 2’s picket line,” said Eric Gill, Local 5’s secretary-treasurer. “If hotel workers in San Francisco are forced to pay for their medical coverage then we will be next.” Local 2 said the two hotels were chosen because the Hawaii Sheratons had been sending nonunion workers to the San Francisco Sheratons, and Starwood, which operates both hotels, has been leading the lockout here.

Meanwhile, as talks mediated by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom continued late last week, Casey called “extremely deficient” a new health care proposal from the hotel owners, under which the co-payment for family coverage would rise over four years from the present $10 to a high of $119 per month — down from a previous $273 demand.

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