Concord hotel workers keep protesting health care costs, imposed 21 months ago

For the past 21 months, the workers at the Concord Holiday Inn have been calling for a boycott of their own hotel. At the end of the month, it will become a Red Lion Hotel — but their calls for a boycott haven’t changed.

Workers remain upset about management’s July 2009 imposition of a contract that raised family health care costs by about $700 per month. When housekeepers earn around $10 per hour, that $700 is an impossibly steep cost, union officials say.

In 2009, a lawyer for the company’s owners said the hotel had to change the workers’ contract. It could not afford to keep spending $1,300 per month on health care for some workers — more than $15 per hour just in health care expenses for some employees.

Workers regularly rally in front of the hotel to make their case. Earlier this month, they brought along an 8-foot-tall Grinch puppet as a prop.

None of the union workers at the hotel can afford to have family medical coverage any more, said Lian Alan, a spokesman for UNITE HERE Local 2850, the workers’ union.

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