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Tue May 25, 2010
RI Republicans stand by Westin management
By Flo Jonic
Providence, R.I. – The Rhode Island Republican Party is taking a stand in favor of the Westin Hotel, which has imposed a steep pay cut on its workers.
The Rhode Island Republican Central Committee was going to hold a meeting Wednesday night in Bristol but moved it to the Westin to voice support for management, which is locked in a labor dispute with its workers.
On March 14, the hotel unilaterally cut workers' pay 20 percent and increased workers health insurance contributions, prompting threats of a boycott by Democratic and progressive groups. Giovanni Cicione, chair of the state GOP, says there's another side to the story.
"We thought it was awful that a bunch of Democratic operatives were taking advantage of a bad situation with the workers at the Westin Hotel to press their agenda and so we wanted to stand up and say sometimes businesses have to do what's right to keep their employees employed," Cicione says.
After the central committee meeting is adjourned Wednesday, members will join Rhode Island Young Republicans in sampling the Westin's hotel's restaurants and bars.