Obama's Inauguration Means It's a Bad Time for Labor Protests at the Four Seasons

The carpenter's union has stepped up its pickets in front of the ritzy hotel.

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By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers

The carpenter's union has stepped up its pickets in front of the ritzy Four Seasons Hotel in Georgetown, where many Democratic fat cats and Hollywood stars are expected to stay for the inauguration of Barack Obama. At issue: Claims that contractors working on the hotel's renovation are hiring low-wage subcontractors. "It's eroding the wage standard," says Dennis Meyers, district manager of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council of Carpenters.

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His claim: Subcontractors are paying cash to laborers, robbing the government of income taxes and workmers compensation payments. The picket was loud and large outside of the Four Seasons today, with protestors banging buckets and metal. It could be a problem for the hotel because it is one of Hollywood's favorite Washington hotels and is expected to be the home of many stars during the Inauguration. The Four Seasons didn't have any immediate comment.