Holiday Airline Hotel Strikes Possible

    GRAND RAPIDS — Area residents planning a holiday flight or a stay in Chicago should keep an eye peeled for possible flying and lodging problems.

    Contract negotiations between Midwest Express Airlines and the Association of Flight Attendants broke off early today and attendants pledged to disrupt flights with a strike.

    Moreover, workers in nearly 30 major downtown and suburban Chicago hotels could go on strike at midnight Saturday.

    Hotels that could be affected are:

    • Allerton Crowne Plaza, Omni Ambassador East, Best Western Inn of Chicago, Palmer House Hilton and Drake Hotel
    • Park Hyatt Chicago, Executive Plaza Clarion, Quality Inn Chicago Downtown, Fairmont Hotel and Radisson Hotel Suites
    • Fitzpartrick Hotel, Ramada Plaza O’Hare, Hilton Chicago, Raphael Hotel, Hilton O’Hare and Ritz-Carlton Chicago
    • Holiday Inn Mart Plaza, Sheraton Arlington Park, Hotel Allergro, Sheraton Chicago, Hyatt Oakbrook and Tremont Hotel.
    • Hyatt Regency Chicago, West City Center, Hyatt Regency McCormick, West Lake Shore Drive, Hyatt Regency O’Hare, Westin Hotel Chicago and the Millennium Knickerbocker

    The 7,000-member Hotel and Restaurant Employees Union is threatening to strike unless a new contract is reached with 29 hotels downtown and in the suburbs.

    Hotel operators say they can’t afford union pay demands, but with the fall convention season beginning next week, they may have no choice. Other unions, including laundry workers, electricians and operating engineers have pledged to honor the picket lines.

    Talks in the airline dispute broke off shortly before 1 a.m. and no new talks are scheduled. Company and union officials say the two sides remain far apart on wage and compensation.

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