RIPR News
6:34 am
Wed May 26, 2010

Rhode Island Hospital postpones event at Westin

Providence, R.I. – The boycott against the Westin Hotel seems to be gaining traction.

Rhode Island Hospital says it is postponing a major fundraising event at the Westin Hotel because of the hotel's ongoing dispute with its workers. On March 14, management imposed a 20 percent pay cut and a doubling, or in some cases tripling, of employee contributions to their health insurance.

Camille Viveiros, of Rhode Island Jobs With Justice, says he's grateful for the hospital's support.

"We're excited," Viveiros says. "Every day more and more community leaders and businesses are deciding to not do business with the Westin as a way of supporting the workers there."

Francis Engler of the union "Unite Here!" says the support is especially meaningful coming from a hospital.

"The impact of these changes has been devastating for the workers because they've had to choose between putting food on the table and providing health insurance for their families," Engler says.

Rhode Island Hospital says it is still their intention to hold the President's Pursuit of Excellence Dinner at the Westin at a later date.