Losing his job was the last thing on the mind of a Filipino cook in a hotel in San Francisco, California.
However, Mike Ancheta was laid off from his job at the HEI Le Meridien Hotel a couple of months ago. Ancheta said the bad news caught him off guard.
“I never called in sick. I did a great job. I got along with my co-workers," Ancheta said.
He said his lay off was not fair as other cooks less senior than him still have their jobs.
He suspects he was laid off because he wanted workers to join the union.
“It’s basically saying that if you support the union this is what can happen to you. You can lose your job," he said.
HEI Le Meridien hotel workers want management to address the main issues of job security, better wages, and better benefits.
Over a hundred workers and advocates staged a boycott in front of HEI Le Meridien. This is the first hotel boycott in San Francisco in three years, reports said.
It was learned that 93 percent of the hotels in San Francisco are unionized.
Filipinos from unionized hotels said workers should continue to fight for their rights and not be intimidated by management.
“Lakas ng loob lang ‘yon. Kung talagang determined ka na ilaban mo yung gusto mo. Ilalaban mo talaga,” said Lorna Villanueva, Housekeeping Supervisor, Grand Hyatt.
Management from the HEI Le Meridien Hotel refused to comment about the boycott.
The hotel union and advocates said they plan to stage an early morning protest in front of the Hyatt Fishermen's Wharf on April 18. Report from Henni Espinosa, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau