Hotels Lay Off a Million

By Andrew Gumbel, in Los Angeles The Independent
(London) October 3, 2001

In Las Vegas, casino workers are being sacked without
so much as a thank you. At one resort, the news of
their dismissal was written on their time cards. In
Anaheim, home of Disneyland, union organisers have
begun handing out emergency food packages to hotel
workers facing destitution because their poverty-wage
jobs have dried up without warning. Waiters,
accountants, receptionists and cleaners have been put
on reduced hours or laid off altogether because the
once lucrative tourism market has all but collapsed and
business travel has been heavily curtailed.

It is becoming clear that airlines may not be the
sector worst affected by the atrocities of 11

The Hotel and Restaurant Employees Union reports that
40 to 60 per cent of its membership has been laid off
in the past three weeks. Assuming that non-unionised
workers about 90 per cent of the total have been
culled in similar numbers, that means more than a
million people in the hospitality industry are now out
of work. The airlines, by contrast, have laid off about
100,000 people.

John Wilhelm, president of the hotel workers' union,
said: "The devastation of the hospitality industry
nationwide cannot be overstated." Since many members of
his union lead precarious existences anyway living
from pay cheque to pay cheque and struggling to pay the
rent and feed their families the mass lay-offs could
easily have the sort of consequences previously
associated with the Great Depression food queues,
emergency homeless shelters, starving children. Mr
Wilhelm is joining forces with the owners of some of
America's biggest hotel chains to lobby for federal

Some signs of permanent damage are already apparent. In
Las Vegas, the Aladdin casino, which opened 13 months
ago, has filed for bankruptcy protection. In Los
Angeles, one of the city's premier business hotels, the
Biltmore, has closed its top restaurant because of a
lack of customers.

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Dairy Products Up Prostate Cancer Risk 

The following health articles may be found at:

Teen Weight, Blood Pressure Predict Adult Disease - Results from two new
studies released
Monday suggested the overweight, out-of-shape teens of today are the
heart attack, stroke or diabetes patients of tomorrow. Presented at the
American Heart Association's 55th Annual Fall Conference of the Council
for High Blood Pressure Research, one study said blood pressure and
weight measurements at age 13 may predict...

Arsenic Linked To Bladder Cancer - As US regulators work toward lowering
arsenic levels in drinking water, a new study from Taiwan shows that
levels currently considered "acceptable" can increase cancer risk.
Earlier this year, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a
ruling that called for maximum allowable arsenic levels to be lowered
from 50 parts...

Healthy Living May Stop Diabetes - Most cases of the most common form of
diabetes can be
prevented by moderate exercise and a healthy diet, studies show. One
study indicates that such
lifestyle changes could head off over 90 percent of type 2 diabetes.
Another says that the changes could reduce the risk of getting the
disease by 58 percent...

Dairy Products Up Prostate Cancer Risk - Too much dietary calcium, like
that found in dairy products, can increase the risk of developing
prostate cancer, Harvard researchers report. "This is a 'head's up'
rather than the sounding of an alarm," said lead author Dr. June Chan,
formerly a researcher at Harvard University Medical School in Cambridge
and now...

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The Black Radical Congress (BRC)

For Immediate Release

September 28, 2001

Contact: Frances M. Beal,
Bill Fletcher Jr.,


The Honorable Barbara Lee
U.S. House of Representatives
426 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Representative Lee:

The Black Radical Congress salutes you for your courageous
stand in opposing the House resolution to provide the U.S.
President carte blanche in responding militarily to the
horrific events of September 11, 2001. It is an infamous act
of violence that brings grief and fear to all decent people
at home and abroad. While most of our elected officials beat
the war drums and promise to spill the blood of even more
people - somewhere, or anywhere - it takes a person with an
extraordinary level of integrity and political grit to stand
alone against the jingoism that is sweeping the nation. You
are proving to have such courage and we are proud that you
have raised your voice for peace and justice at this time
of crisis.

Please rest assured that you speak for thousands of people
in this country who agree "that military action will not
prevent further acts of international terrorism against the
United States," as you put it in your intrepid argument
against the race toward war.

In the years to come, we are sure that your name will shine
brightly as a beacon of rationality and the lone voice of
conscience in the halls of the U.S. Congress, at a critical
time in our nation's history.

We will be doing everything in our power to activate our
membership and our friends in the struggle for peace in the
days to come. It is good to know we have such an ally in

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