Striking hotel workers strategize to win

first_imgBoston hotel workers still strong on Day 13 of national strike.Oct. 12 — Chanting “7 a.m. wake-up call!” and “Don’t check in, check out!” 500 Boston hotel workers on the tenth day of the national strike against Marriott International shut down rush hour traffic for half an hour tonight. Represented by UNITE HERE Local 261, housekeepers, cooks, bartenders and bellhops walked off the job as part of a now 7,800-worker-strong national strike.Workers also walked out Oct. 3 in San Francisco, San Diego, Oakland and San Jose, and on Oct. 7 in Detroit, while Waikiki, Maui and Seattle workers struck the morning of Oct. 8.As in Boston and many places it operates, the five Hawaii hotels owned by Kyo-ya were bought out by Marriott, the world’s largest hotel company that netted $1.4 billion in 2017. According to today’s Boston Globe, the city’s largest hotel, Sheraton Boston, generated $28.4 million in operating profit in the last year, while Westin Copley made $31.5..Amid all this wealth, hotel workers are among the 7.8 million workers across the country forced to hold multiple jobs to barely keep their heads above water. They are demanding: “One Job Should Be Enough.” (, October 2016)Marriott is cutting back hours by hiring temps and using technology to replace workers.  It is shutting down restaurants, bars and room service to increase profits and outsource jobs to the gig economy. Uber, Lyft and UberEats have cut into the livelihoods of tip-dependent hotel food service workers and door workers who traditionally secure cabs for customers.An often-discussed issue on the picketline is Marriott’s deceitful “Make a Green Choice Program.”  Cashing in on people’s genuine desire to help save the environment, the program gives points and rewards to customers for refusing housekeeping services. UNITE/HERE in its report, “Marriott’s Dirty Choice,” said the program reduces housekeeper hours and leads to more injuries.Housekeepers report that this program results in rooms filled with days of filth that require backbreaking labor and heavy lifting as well as use of stronger cleaning chemicals. As UNITE HERE Local 26 President Brian Lang put it: “This is a labor-reduction program masquerading as an environmental program. Union housekeepers have seen their hours reduced 15 to 20 percent because of the program.”This deceptive marketing has also been followed with outright lies by the company that posted an anti-union letter claiming to have met worker demands. Management’s effort to cut union power and divide workers has been met with determined effort and loud picket lines in front of empty lobbies and in the streets.Strategies to winTo win this struggle, however, UNITE HERE workers need more support now, especially from communities.  Concrete solidarity came this week in Boston from the local progressive Asian American and Pacific Islanders community who swelled the union’s picket line at the Westin hotel. AAPI is fighting to protect affirmative action for Black and Latinx students at Harvard University. They were outraged that the right-wing, anti-affirmative-action think tank Students for Fair Admissions and their cronies had crossed the picket line.“The strike is coming to a dangerous point as it ends its second week,” Harvard Local 26 Chief Steward Ed Childs explained to Workers World. “Marriot owns 10 percent of its market in the world, so this is a fight not just in the U.S. But in this country, the attack against UNITE HERE is a national effort from Washington and Wall Street, along with National Right to Work, eased by the Janus v. American Federation of State, County, Municipal Employees court decision; the termination of temporary protected status [for Caribbean and Central American workers]; DACA [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals]; and attacks on affirmative action — all stacked against workers. UNITE HERE has responded with a national campaign, and we’re fighting not just for our union but for workers in general.”Childs advised: “Mobilize yourselves. Raise this in your union meetings. Talk about it with your co-workers. We’ve never faced anything like this. This is an attack on you, too.”Childs cited the Wisconsin protests of 2011 as a source of valuable inspiration and important lessons: “When Governor Scott Walker brought right-to-work legislation to this historically union-stronghold state, it provoked a strong defense that united all unions, the Black and Latinx communities, campus activists and the Occupy movement. Hundreds of thousands protested daily throughout the winter. They ultimately seized and occupied the State House for weeks with rank-and-file union members chanting ‘General Strike!’ in the capitol.“Although the unions had built the power to do that, the Democrats sold them out, convincing union leadership to await a recall effort, but then running the racist, pro-life mayor of Milwaukee as their candidate. That split the movement.”Childs observed that people in Madison at the time were very responsive and supportive, easily seeing through the deceptive “rights” rhetoric that like “Green Choice” is just a foil for corporate take-backs.“Unfortunately, we never made it to the offense,” Childs added. “A general strike in Wisconsin would have been taking the offensive and could have defeated the right-to-work campaign. Continuing the campaign to contemplate a general strike may be what is needed today to defeat the attack on the unions by Wall Street, Marriot and the Trump forces.”“Bring the hotel strike to your unions and community. Let them hear from workers that it’s important for the whole workers’ movement to train leaders. Show up at the line. Give any support they can. But the unions then need to go on the offense and call for a general strike.”FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Rundown – Your To Do List for March ’14

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York CELEBRATEMarch is Women’s History Month, a national and global celebration recognizing the countless contributions women have made throughout history and contemporary society. The annual tribute coincides with International Women’s Day, March 8, and this year’s theme is “Celebrating Women of Character, Courage & Commitment,” according to the National Women’s History Project. In commemoration, there’ll be countless events and services taking place in communities across the country throughout the month; to find out more, go to or “I CRASHED A WALL STREET SECRET SOCIETY”In 2012, then-New York Times reporter Kevin Roose rented a tuxedo and infiltrated one of Wall Street’s most secretive societies, Kappa Beta Phi, crashing its annual induction ceremony at the St. Regis Hotel. Inside, he found a who’s-who list of capitalism, wearing drag, singing songs mocking the global financial meltdown—the crisis they created. Now a writer at New York magazine, he’s documented all the antics in a new book called Young Money; you’ll find a must-read excerpt by Googling the above (or by just clicking the embedded link). DOWNLOAD TWERK METERFrom the imaginative minds at LI-based tech services and consulting startup is this fun, innovative app helping anyone with a smartphone to wiggle and gyrate and thrust better than Miley at the AMAs. Twerk Meter guides your tuckus on its way to twerkmastery, offering easy-to-follow steps, competitive twerking with others across the globe, speed challenges and even twerk-interconnectivity with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine and YouTube to compare scores and watch videos of other twerkers. Free at ENJOY A LATTENot just any latte, a soul-healing caffeine smoothie at Coffee Fest, perhaps the most revered coffee and tea tradeshow in the world—brewing top pots, hosting classes and workshops, competitions (including the “Latte Art World Championship,” “America’s Best Espresso Competition” and “America’s Best Coffeehouse Competition”) and otherwise just expounding upon the supreme divinity of this holy elixir—from March 7-9 at the Jacob Javits Center. Check out for more details and tweet a pic of your latteler to #LIPCoffeeFiendsDO THE IRISH JIGWhere? At Old Bethpage Village Restoration. When? Saturday, March 8, from 12-5 p.m. There will be Irish food, Irish beverages, live Irish music and traditional Irish dancing. Best part? It’s free. For more information, check out, and “May the Luck o’ the Irish be upon thee.” READ “THE SQUAWK BOX” TV BLOGDo you watch #TheFollowing? Think that the dwarf in #GameOfThrones is hot? Then this is for you. The Press’ new TV (and film) blog includes previews, reviews, picks, gossip, rants (called “Squawkler Scrambles”) and so much more. It’s unapologetic commentary that always entertains, may offend, and never ceases to amaze. Check it out at READ THE GREAT AMERICAN DISCONNECTWhy? Too many reasons. Among them: 1) Press Publisher Jed Morey wrote it. 2) Press Editor in Chief Christopher Twarowski edited it. 3) Mainstream media won’t supply you with this knowledge. 4) You deserve to know the truth. 5) It’s available on iTunes, Amazon’s Kindle and “KITTEN MEETS HEDGEHOG”This vid never stops attracting views (more than 14 million now) or melting hearts with its absolute abundance of cuteness and adorability, as the curious tiny baby cat Loki discovers the shy prickly Harley, to a fun smooth cover song by singer/songwriter Alanna Matty. Worth watching again and again. SAMPLE CRAFT BEERAdmission includes a 5 oz. souvenir tasting glass and the freedom to taste more than 100 craft beers from more than 75 microbreweries. Nassau Coliseum, March 22; more at HAVE A HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY!last_img read more

O Shea not fazed by five week lay off

first_imgTipp FM will have full live coverage of Sunday’s matches from Croke Park, the Minor match between Tipperary and Dublin is brought to you in association with John Kennedy Motors, Clonmel while coverage of the Senior clash is in association with Mulcahy Car Sales, Ardcroney, Nenagh Tipperary go into Sundays game as Munster champions after convincing wins over Limerick and Waterford.Eamon O shea has said the training structure is differant with five weeks between games than it would be without such a gap.The Tipperary team will be named tonight at training and tonights session is closed to the public. Galway could name their side this evening for Sunday’s All Ireland semi final in Croke Park.last_img read more

Official: “Dragons” in the First Group of Qualifications for European Championship 2016

first_imgThe B&H team is in the first group, before the group qualification drawing for European Championship 2016, announced UEFA on its official website.“Dragons” are in the first group with Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, England, Portugal, Greece and Russia.In the second group is Ukraine, Croatia, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, Belgium, Czech Republic and Hungary.The third group consists of Serbia, Turkey, Slovenia, Israel, Norway, Slovakia, Romania, Austria and Poland.The fourth group consists of Montenegro, Armenia, Scotland, Finland, Latvia, Wales, Bulgaria, Estonia and Belarus.Island, Northern Ireland, Albania, Lithuania, Moldavia, Macedonia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Cyprus are in the fifth group.The last group consists of the weakest UEFA representations: Luxembourg, Kazakhstan, Liechtenstein , Faroe Islands, Malta, Andorra, San Marino and Gibraltar.Opponents of our team will be announced after the group drawing, on 23 February in Nice, France. (Source: read more

Report: Giants ‘likely’ to be buyers at trade deadline, plan to keep Bumgarner

first_imgThe San Francisco Giants are likely to add to their team at baseball’s trade deadline, rather than selling prominent players off to contending teams, per a report from’s Mark Feinsand.Yes, the 2019 San Francisco Giants.What a difference a month makes.Coming into spring training and as the Giants toiled through the first two months of the season, it was a foregone conclusion that they’d be too far out of the playoff picture to sniff a wild card spot come late July. They’d have to …last_img read more

2010 to give SA a $2.5bn boost

first_imgCape Town International Airportundergoing refurbishment to allow for theexpected influx of visitors for the 2010Fifa World Cup. South Africa is alreadyenjoying the benefits of largeinfrastructure projects that wouldn’t havegone ahead if it weren’t for thetournament.(Image: Rodger Bosch, For more freephotos, visit the image library.)Wilma den HartighThe 2010 Fifa World Cup is to inject an additional R21.3-billion (US$2.52-billion) into South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP), according to research by the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism.Of the projected growth, R12.7-billion ($1.5-billion) is attributed to direct investment and tourist spend will contribute the remaining R9.5-billion ($1.13-billion).But Dr Azar Jammine, Econometrix chief economist, expects GDP growth to be even higher. “It is an underestimate because capital inflow will be much more substantial,” he said. “The current estimate only amounts to 0.8% of the GDP.”The 2009 Fifa Confederations and 2010 World Cup couldn’t come at a better time for South Africa. “Given the economic crisis, South Africa would have been in a very different position without these events,” he said.The country is already enjoying the benefits of large infrastructure projects that wouldn’t have gone ahead if it weren’t for the Fifa World Cup. Besides Fifa events, the Indian Premier League cricket tournament and the British and Irish Lions rugby tour will also generate substantial revenue for the country.The latest foreign tourism figures show negative growth, but Jammine is confident that this situation is only temporary. “Tourism will pick up again with people coming to South Africa for the events.”Customer serviceThe completion of major infrastructure developments in time for the Fifa World Cup has been under the spotlight for months. But according to Accenture SA, organisations shouldn’t neglect the importance of customer service throughout the event.Accenture has taken an extensive look at the effects that the Fifa World Cup will have on customer experience. “The aim of the event should not only be to get people to come to South Africa, but to encourage them to return,” said Nikki Tyrer, head of  customer relations management at Accenture SA.Tyrer pointed out that customer service will be a key differentiator during the World Cup. “We must position the country to maximise the benefits of the event beyond the actual tournament. Tourists only have a few weeks here, but the event is a phenomenal marketing opportunity for the country.”The financial services sector, health, safety and retail will be under pressure with the influx of visitors to the country. It is estimated that the World Cup tournament will bring approximately 3-million tourists to South African shores, from across Africa and the rest of the world.“These potential customers all have expectations in terms of customer service. Additional value added services will go a long way in meeting these expectations,” she said.The retail sector will benefit greatly, with an international tourist expected to spend some R1 400 ($166) daily, while domestic visitors will spend about R750 ($89) daily. Thousands of tourists will be visiting shopping malls across the country, and Tyrer believes that retailers have to ensure that visitors have a positive experience of South Africa.The most critical aspect is communication, she says. Organisations can enhance the customer’s experience by ensuring that foreign and local customers are catered for in their own languages.One of the areas in need of attention is banking automatic teller machines (ATMs). She said although South Africa has a good ATM network, the supply chain relies on historic usage patterns. This is problematic, as more people will be making use of ATM facilities throughout the World Cup.“This means ATMs will run out of money more quickly and we have to find ways around this,” she said.  The shoe and clothing retail sector will also have to make provision for tourists requesting information on sizing differences.She emphasised that South Africa does have pockets of excellence as far as service is concerned. However, to ensure that the event has long-term benefits, operators and service providers need to develop and implement marketing, sales and service strategies that meet the needs of a diverse consumer base.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Mary Alexander at [email protected] articlesWill 2010 prevent a South African jobs bloodbath? No swine flu threat to Confed Cup No power cuts in 2010 Uefa praises SA’s 2010 readiness Cracking down on 2010 crime Useful linksDepartment of Environmental Affairs and TourismSouth African TourismAccenture South AfricaEconometrixFifaSouth Africa 2010last_img read more

Study reveals how ASV and HIV1 share similar structural features that drive

Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Dec 18 2018A key step in retroviral growth inside a cell, as described by Jamil Saad, Ph.D., and colleagues, is portrayed on the cover of The Journal of Biological Chemistry. It is a visual image, in molecular detail, of their journal article inside that looks at avian sarcoma virus, or ASV.The University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers used nuclear magnetic resonance, or NMR, to detail how the matrix domain of the ASV Gag protein binds to certain phospholipids. These phospholipids are vital for Gag protein binding to the plasma membrane of a cell, as the virus replicates and takes its first step toward virus formation and budding.ASV, a retrovirus that causes cancer in chickens, is the first oncovirus to have been described, more than a century ago. It belongs to the retroviridae family and is closely related to HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. ASV is widely used as a model to study mechanisms of HIV infection and replication. By studying similarities and differences in replication of the two viruses, researchers learn basic knowledge that can inform efforts aimed to halt replication and spread of HIV. Despite great similarities in their Gag proteins that initiate virus assembly, retroviruses have distinct mechanisms for assembly that are incompletely understood.The work led by Saad, associate professor of microbiology at UAB, and a companion paper, led by Carol Carter, Ph.D., professor of molecular genetics and microbiology at Stony Brook University, examined how the ASV Gag protein is targeted to the plasma membrane of the host cell to initiate virus assembly. Their findings elucidate the plasma membrane binding by the matrix domain of Gag, all the way from determining the precise molecular shape of the protein domain to studying its vital activity in living cells to initiate viral budding.At UAB, Saad and colleagues elucidated the molecular determinants of ASV matrix interaction with lipids and membranes, and they provided a model of how the matrix binds to a cell membrane.Related StoriesAlcohol reduction associated with improved viral suppression in women living with HIVPatients with HIV DNA in cerebrospinal fluid have high risk of experiencing cognitive deficitsNovel method can help clinicians identify individuals most in need of PrEPImportant findings included: They also show that, although the HIV matrix domain uses more structural tools to bind to the membrane, both ASV and HIV matrix proteins share almost identical interacting motifs that drive assembly.As part of the UAB experiments, the researchers found that replacing lysine residues in the binding site of matrix with a different amino acid greatly diminished binding to lipids and membranes.In the companion paper, Carter and colleagues at Stony Brook University used those mutations in the matrix domain of the ASV Gag protein to show that disruption of the phosophoinositide binding site on the matrix domain inhibited Gag localization at the cell periphery in two different cell lines and severely reduced viral particle production, as compared with unmutated ASV.”These studies solved a longstanding mystery on how a virus discovered a century ago utilizes the plasma membrane of the host cell to replicate,” Saad said. “What is even more remarkable is how ASV and HIV-1 share very similar structural features that drive membrane targeting and assembly.”Source: Obtaining a significantly improved structural model of the matrix domain and identifying a membrane binding site that was not obvious in previously determined structures. Providing compelling evidence that a cluster of four lysine amino acids in the matrix domain create a basic surface, which acts as a single binding site that directly interacts with acidic membrane lipids called phosphoinositides. Demonstrating that Gag-membrane interaction is governed by charge-charge interactions. read more