Hartford Hilton workers hold protest over condominiums proposal | Connecticut News


HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) – Dozens of Hartford Hilton hotel workers are protesting ahead of a city meeting tonight.

They say nearly half of them will lose their jobs, because of a proposal to turn half of the Trumbull Street property into apartments.

The Hilton hotel has been struggling since before the pandemic.

A Hartford leader says this is the only way to keep it open, but workers disagree.

The state and the city of Hartford would have to approve the proposal, ultimately costing $11 million through tax payer dollars.

“How can you use our tax payer money to claim that you’re enhancing this place and half, maybe three quarters of us will be losing our job,” Hilton employee Sandra Walton says.

Sandra has been working at the hotel for nearly fifteen years.

Dozens of Hartford Hilton hotel workers are protesting ahead of a city meeting tonight.

She marched through downtown with other employees Monday night, who say their livelihood is in jeopardy.

“What are we going to do without a job? We don’t want to be on the street,” Walton noted.

City of Hartford COO Thea Montanez says in a statement in part:

“We all wish that the world hadn’t changed, that the Hilton could survive as it is, that we could save every job and every hotel room. But the reality is that, without this deal, the hotel will close altogether, every single job will be lost, and the city will be stuck with an obsolete and costly building that will likely sit vacant for years. To lose every job when we could save some, to lose every hotel room when we could save half, and to leave a building vacant and deteriorating when we could keep it open and operating, just wouldn’t be the right thing to do for the city.”

“We won’t be having a happy holiday, because we are worried about our jobs,” Walton added.

The proposal is still in the early stages. More than 100 rooms would be converted.

Dozens of Hilton Hotel employees marched and spoke with Hartford City Council members Monday. 

“We are worried that January or February we won’t have a job,” says Hilton employee Sandra Walton. 

The city and state are considering creating more than 100 apartments, but keeping the rest of the building a hotel. 

Supporters of the proposal say it would be a much needed change. 

“If it remains in the condition that it’s in, it’s a blight to the city. It will ultimately close. The owners have tried everything over the years to make it work economically and it hasn’t worked,” says senior strategist of Shelbourne Global Solutions David Schick. 

Hilton employees say their jobs are in jeopardy.

“The loss of these jobs will be a financial hardship for us. We have families to take care of, mortgages, healthcare to pay,” Sally Allard a Hilton employee says. 

Another employee says they are feeling like they are not being heard. 

“We aren’t going to be able to find another job. These are good paying, union jobs that we have dedicated our lives to and it isn’t right that we aren’t being considered in this issue,” says Kimberly Davis a Hilton employee. 

Several approvals need to happen before these changes are made. 

The state bond commission needs to approve the $11 million from tax payers. The city council would also have to approve the proposal. 

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