SAN DIEGO PRIDE
Event unites LGBT and hotel workers’ struggles
Published Jul 27, 2008 7:42 PM
The highlight of the San Diego Lesbian, Gay, Bi and Transgender Pride weekend
is usually the Saturday parade, which for at least a decade has been the
largest yearly civic event. In recent years it has drawn a crowd estimated at
150,000. From a political point of view, though, this year’s weekend
kickoff event on Friday afternoon, July 18, was a new high point for the LGBT
WW photos: Bob McCubbin
Organized by a coalition called Californians Against Hate, a large crowd of
LGBT activists and representatives from many area unions gathered in front of
the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel to send a two-pronged message to the
hotel’s CEO: attacks on the newly won right to marry in California will
not be tolerated, and the right of all workers to a fair wage and good working
conditions is the concern of all.
Doug Manchester, CEO of the Manchester Financial Group of San Diego,
contributed $125,000 to help fund the reactionary California state initiative
that seeks to overturn the recent court ruling granting equal marriage rights
to all Californians. CAH’s goal is to expose Manchester and other fat-cat
bigots to the public nationwide. The coalition is also calling for a boycott of
Manchester’s three San Diego hotels.
Hyatt worker Charles Yip, July 18,
San Diego, supports LGBT rights.
In addition to the LGBT activists who spoke at the rally in support of the
boycott, a number of union activists spoke, condemning Manchester’s
anti-worker policies. Brigette Browning, president of Local 30 of UNITE HERE,
which represents the hotel workers, said that the Grand Hyatt workers have no
job security and are forced to clean significantly more rooms per day than
workers at other hotels. Charles Yip, a server at another of Manchester’s
hotels, expressed solidarity with the struggle to keep equal marriage
Labor organizations present at the rally included Local 30, Service Employees
Local 221, Food and Commercial Workers Local 135, Teamsters Local 36, Hotel
Workers Rising, Equality for All and Pride at Work. Representatives of local
schools included San Diego State University, Palomar College and Southwestern
For more information on the campaign to protect marriage rights for all in California, visit CaliforniansAgainstHate.com.
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