Hilton Anaheim Hotel Workers Win Raises, Pensions and Panic Buttons

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By Gabriel San Román

Hilton Anaheim hotel workers banged on drums, chanted “Sí, se puede!” during picket protests and even shut down a busy resort-area intersection by the convention center in the fight for living wages. Ready to strike, the campaign returned to the negotiating table with momentum where Unite Here Local 11, the union that represents the workers, and the hotel reached a tentative agreement last week that boosts pay five dollars over five years, provides pensions and equips housekeepers with panic buttons against sexual harassment.

Hotel workers overwhelmingly approved the new contract with a 98 percent vote on Monday, averting a strike authorized in December. “This contract is the best contract that we’ve had in the past 33 years I’ve worked at the Hilton,” Javier Espinosa, a cook at the Hilton Anaheim, tells the Weekly in Spanish. “We’ve never gained such big raises. It’s something historic.”

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