Tonight, hotel workers and members of the labor group East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy (EBASE) will stage a rally outside Emeryville's outlet of the hotel chain Woodfin Suites, which they claim has threatened to fire employees for demanding the hotel comply with the city's living wage ordinance. After the law was passed last November, EBASE members started canvassing the hotels to make sure they raised their wages. According to EBASE official Brooke Anderson, Woodfin officials refused to comply with the new rules, and when employees started pressuring the company, the hotel announced in late September that many of their workers' Social Security numbers were invalid.
Anderson suspects the company is using the Social Security Administration as cover to fire employees in retaliation for demanding their rights. Hotel general manager Hugh Macintosh claims that his company is in compliance with the new law, and that he is planning to meet with the employees affected by the Social Security mixup and offer paid time off until they clear up their problems with the administration. The rally starts at 6 p.m. outside the Woodfin Suites at 5800 Shellmound Street. Workers will picket the hotel for an hour, after which a local clergyman will bless them and their mops to give them strength in the coming struggle. Unless, of course, God decides to keep raining on them.
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