MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- When hotel workers planned the strike that's now in progress here and in Bloomington, they initially mentioned the largest convention ever in Minnesota, this week's gathering of Alcoholics Anonymous delegates, as their ace in the hole.
With 50,000 visitors expected for the five-day event beginning Thursday, union leaders said the convention could cause major anxiety among hotel management.
But union leaders don't feel the same way any more.
''For us, the convention is not make or break at all,'' said Jaye Rykunyk, secretary-treasurer of the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union Local 17. ''It's just another day of business at full hotels.''
The lead negotiator for the affected hotels sees that opinion as a sign that the strike could be a long one.
''Two weeks ago it was important to them,'' said Michael Colloton of the Moss & Barnett law firm in Minneapolis. ''I think there's a realization that (the hotel owners) can handle that kind of long convention'' without the striking workers.
''Once you get past the convention there are other things on the horizon, but nothing that puts on any pressure,'' he said.
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