If rush-hour commuters somehow overlooked the noisy demonstration outside the Crystal City Hilton last night, they couldn’t miss the huge “BOYCOTT” projected on the hotel’s wall just below the red neon Hilton sign. On the sidewalk below, hundreds of hotel workers and their supporters circled in a lively sea of bright red picket signs, chanting, drumming and shaking noisemakers as a light warm rain fell. The workers have been in contract negotiations with new owners Columbia Sussex for over a year with no progress. “They’re trying to cut everything,” said cook Regino Romero, “pension, health insurance, sick leave. They even want to eliminate seniority rights, and some of the workers have been here since the hotel opened 36 years ago.” Romero, who’s worked there for 13 years, says the new owners “are always trying to intimidate us, threatening to send workers home if we talk about the union. We have no choice but to boycott our own hotel, even if it’s difficult for us. We must continue fighting.” Arlington County Board member Chris Zimmerman walked the line with the workers, telling them “”What you’re doing here is important and you have our support. I’m hopeful that change is coming, to close the gigantic gap between the people who do the work and those at the top of these companies.” VIDEO ALERT! Check our website for a demo video! – story by Chris Garlock; video by Adam Wright Latest metro DC labor news:
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