||Issue No. 152||13 September 2002|
The Legacy of 11/9
Interview: Still Flying
International: President Gas
Politics: Australia: A Rogue State?
History: Levelling September
Unions: Welfare Max
Bad Boss: Welcome to Telstra!
Health: Fat Albert: The Grim Reaper
Poetry: A Man From the East And A Man From The West
Review: The Sum Of All Fears
The Locker Room
Week in Review
The CFMEU Race Debate #2
Keeping it Clean
Sue the Leaders?
Mystery Windfall for Hilton Workers
James Calazzo will kick-in $10,000 towards lunch for the 470 workers in recognition of the service he has received during his stays in the George St hotel.
Calazzo has sided with LHMU members in their battle with the hotel chain because, he says, the service they provide is the best he has experienced in a job that takes him around the world.
The American told today's Daily Telegraph Sydney Hilton workers were the "finest staff I have seen. They are warm and not snooty like in other countries.
"I think it's just a shocking decision. I will do whatever I can in my power to push the Hilton to get them to have them all back."
Calazzo's is one of hundreds of people, across the globe, who have opted to side with the workers.
The boss of the Hilton Hotel chain in Australia and New Zealand, Mr Oded Lifschitz, has received so many e-mails, from all over the world, protesting his action - that it has been characterised as a blockade of his computer.
Academics from US Ivy League universities have written to protest, along with rabbis, pastors, reverends and mullahs -as well as the International Young Christian Workers' movement.
Emails messages, so far, have come from Austria, Canada, Fiji, Germany Holland, Israel, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, Thailand, UK, USA, Zimbabwe.
The international support is a back up to a huge wave of support from Australian unionists and labour movement supporters.
Politicians have shown their colours, with a number of Labor MPs and their staffers e-mailing the Hilton Hotel - and there has been at least one US Democrat politician sending an e-mail from Chicago, Illinois.
" We've been overwhelmed by the massive wave of support we are getting for hotel union members," Mark Boyd the NSW LHMU Hotel Union's assistant secretary said.
In Canada a group of postal workers, who are about to hold a meeting at the Hilton Hotel in Bunbary, British Columbia, has organised a protest letter to be signed by all 135 delegates to be given to the local management - and asked to be passed on to the Sydney Hilton Hotel management
" We didn't request this - just a basic decent sense of solidarity among working people, which crosses international boundaries, has built this fantastic response," Boyd said.
The LHMU Hotel Union negotiating team is meeting with Hilton Hotel management and - depending on the results of the talks - could report to members on Monday.
The union team is demanding that the company:
- put a better retrenchment deal on the table
- give all its current workers the right to return to their Hilton jobs when the $400 million refurbishment and expansion is completed
- provide a better outplacement and re-training service to help people find alternative jobs
- sit down and negotiate a first ever union enterprise agreement
Mr Calozzo originally contacted the Hilton Hotel management with the lunch offer but, he says, management tried to talk him out of it. Instead, he will spend his money at the David Jones Family Restaurant.
The lunch offer to Hilton workers will be available until November 29 - the day the hotel is scheduled to close for refurbishments.
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