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D. Harris

Can you say "lockout"?

The San Francisco hotel strike is now underway, with additional actions likely in LA and D.C. The union (UNITE HERE) is using an interesting tactic, calling for a two-week walkout to prove to the hotel how damaging the strike will be. That is a gutsy move – in two weeks the hotels will probably have figured out how to operate without the workers (and guests?) honoring the picket line.

I’d announce a lockout until the contract is completed. Letting the union dictate the terms of the walkout is ridiculous – announcing the lockout today will do two things. It “ups the ante” for the union and probably divides the union members somewhat (particularly if they sold the idea of the strike on the basis that it would only be for a couple of weeks). It also makes clear that the union is not in control.

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