Boycott Fact Sheet
The workers. 12 housekeepers and 1 maintenance worker are employed by the Monterey Bay Travelodge and are members of UNITE HERE Local 483. They are all Latino. 10 live in Seaside, 2 in Marina, and 1 in Castroville.
The workers’ families. The Travelodge workers have 19 children.
The union. UNITE HERE Local 483, founded in 1937, represents over 1,600 hospitality employees on the Monterey Bay.
The owner. Kilsoo Seo lives and owns a video store in Bethel, Alaska. Seo purchased the Travelodge, under the business name SNKF, Inc., in April 2002.1 Seo recently purchased a $1 million house in the new Seaside Highlands development in Seaside, California.2
The contract. The union contract, which included full employer-funding of the employee health insurance plan, expired on December 1, 2003. The Monterey Bay Travelodge is the only hotel of 15 union hotels on the Monterey Bay operating under an expired contract. All 14 other local union hotels have agreed to contracts in the last two years calling for maintenance of health insurance without employee co-payments, and increases in pension and wages.
The owner’s actions. Seo brought months of negotiations with the union to an end on July 29, 2004. Through his attorney, the Littler Mendelson law firm, Seo then issued his “last and best” offer, demanding the end of his employees’ health and pension plans, an hourly wage freeze at $8.84, reduction in time off, and the extension of the workday by 30 minutes unpaid (lunch period).3 On October 1, Seo instituted these terms without agreement by Local 483.4
The conflict. The first of dozens of weekly picket-line demonstrations at the Travelodge, organized by Local 483, began on July 29, 2004. Over 1,000 people have participated in these public actions supporting the Travelodge workers. The Monterey area branches of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and the Monterey Bay Central Labor Council have sent resolutions or letters to Seo, requesting that he resume contract negotiations.
The current situation. Seo has refused to talk with the union about his actions. 13 workers and their 19 children are now without health insurance. In order to fight for their families, the Travelodge workers have elected to call for a boycott of the Monterey Bay Travelodge, until the owner agrees to a fair contract.
1. Property Transfer Record for Monterey County, Grant Deed, Doc # 2002035346, April 12, 2002.
2. Property Transfer Record for Monterey County, Grant Deed, Doc # 2004090448, August 27, 2004, $982,500 sale price computed from transfer tax.
3. Letter from Robert J. Wilger (Littler Mendelson) to Leonard O’Neill (UNITE HERE Local 483), July 29, 2004.
4. As stated in letter from Robert J. Wilger (Littler Mendelson) to Leonard O’Neill (UNITE HERE Local 483), September 21, 2004.