Carmel.  Pine Inn and Tally-Ho Inn workers have voted by 100% to authorize a strike at any time.  Members of UNITE HERE Local 483, the housekeeping, front desk, bell, and maintenance workers voted January 26, 2012 at Seaside’s Oldemeyer Center.  The workers voted to authorize their negotiating committee to take any action up to and including a strike.  Workers cited concerns about the company’s contract demands calling for the elimination of health insurance for the workers’ 13 spouses and 29 children, as well as the Pine Inn’s interference with Local 483 members’ rights.  The contract between the hotels and the union expired more than a year ago on January 1, 2011.

“If Pine Inn had any trouble hearing us before, this vote makes it loud and clear: We are united in demanding respect and health security for our families!” exclaimed Jose Vigil a three-year Pine Inn houseman and member of the Local 483 negotiating team.

The last time the hotel workers’ union went on strike was in 1982.  That strike at 22 area hotels and restaurants lasted 17 days, after a 75% strike vote of the membership.

The vote follows a series of actions involving Pine Inn & Tally-Ho Inn workers and their community supporters, dating back to a Labor Day march on September 1, 2011.  Local 483 has since sponsored nine protest demonstrations at Pine Inn, drawing more than 600 total participants.  The union also filed unfair labor practice charges last November and December with the National Labor Relations Board alleging Pine Inn management violated workers’ rights by conducting surveillance of legally protected union activity among other allegations.

“Pine Inn doesn’t say they don’t have enough money.  They say they want a ‘new business model’—apparently one that takes from the workers’ children and gives to the owner’s already fat wallet,” said Local 483 lead negotiator Leonard O’Neill, adding, “We won’t stand for that.”

Founded in 1937, UNITE HERE Local 483 represents 1,200 Monterey Bay area hospitality workers at two dozen hotels, restaurants, cafeterias, and golf courses.

Pine Inn and Tally-Ho Inn, at Ocean Avenue and Monte Verde Street in Carmel, are owned by Richard V. Gunner of Fresno and Santa Barbara, California.  Gunner also owns the Santa Barbara Inn, as well as other real estate interests focused in the Fresno and Santa Barbara areas.