Hotel union and management officials agreed today to further negotiations in an attempt to end a strike by more than 12,000 bellhops, maids, clerks and waiters at 45 of the city's most fashionable hotels.
The bargaining session between officials of the New York Hotel Association, which represents 145 hotels, and the New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council, which represents 25,000 employes, is scheduled for noon Monday.
Union officials said that if no progress is made in the talks, they will keep an earlier appointment to meet with state mediators.
The walkout, which began Saturday at 12:01 a.m., tangled streets in midtown Manhattan today, as more than 1,000 striking workers, escorted by squad cars and mounted police, marched from one hotel to another, waving signs and shouting, "No work, no work!" Sidewalks were strewn with shredded newspaper, and garbage cans in front of several hotels were tipped over.
The affected hotels, including the Waldorf-Astoria, the Plaza, the Hilton and the Helmsley Palace, remained open, as management personnel, nonunion workers and vacationing college students filled in for workers walking picket lines outside. In many of the hotels, restaurants were closed, room service was unavailable and guests carried their luggage.
The decline in service drew some complaints at the start of the city's tourist season.
"The service for tourists is bad, bad, bad," said George Guinzani, a frequent visitor from Milan staying at the Waldorf-Astoria. "This morning they served me tea without a cup. Can you believe it? They just brought me a teabag. Then they forgot the sugar. It's a disaster."
Visitor Bobbie Head of San Francisco took the strike more in stride. "We didn't get our beds made this morning, and we have to avoid going in certain entrances," she said. "But other than that, we have not been affected at all."
Wages are at the center of the dispute. Hotel officials have offered a 4.5 percent pay increase in the first year of a three-year contract and a $14.50 weekly raise in each succeeding year. Union President Vito Pitta has called for a 6.5 percent increase.
If an agreement is not reached by June 8, the strike will be extended to 40 more hotels, union spokesman Henry Sheinkopf said today.
Violence has marred the strike. Police said 23 strikers were arrested Saturday, including four on assault charges, while union officials say 32 strikers were taken into custody on charges ranging from disorderly conduct to trespassing.
Some strikers complained today that bottles, eggs and clothing were being thrown at them from hotel windows.
"We're are not asking for much," said Vito Pribaz, a 16-year employe of the Plaza Hotel. "They just want to destroy the union."
Another striker, Archoalouys Izmirlan, who has worked at the Waldorf for 13 years, shook her head sadly and noted that this was the first time she has gone on strike. "We are the losers, but we don't want to be stepped on. We don't want to go hungry," she said.
The strike comes at the peak of the city's tourist season. The Convention and Visitors Bureau here estimates that 5 million people visit New York City each summer.