This article originally ran June 30, 1971 in the Sioux City Journal.

The corner of Sixth and Nebraska Streets is a little quieter this afternoon.

The doors of the Warrior Motor Inn which have opened to guests and residents of Sioux City for nearly 41 years are locked.

Most of the inn's 66 custodians, cooks, maids, elevator operators  bartenders and engineers have gone home to look for new jobs.

Some 10 transient guests moved out this morning and some 16 permanent residents have been ordered out by Friday.

The Operating Engineers, Local 773, has voted to strike Friday morning unless its members working at the hotel receive back pay or are assured as settlement -- a strike which would shut down the boilers and force the closing of the building's six business tenants.

The afternoon quiet was in sharp contrast to morning hustle when employees waited anxiously for an encouraging word concerning unpaid wages which date back to June 1.


A representative of Gotham Hotels Ltd. of New York who was expected in Sioux City today, telephoned instead and reported to George Schille, hotel manager, that the employees would be paid back wages (amounting to $15,000), but would not receive vacation pay (amounting to an additional $5,000).

As to when the employees would be paid, Mr. Schille said the Gotham representative had "no comment." Gotham people reportedly were meeting in New York this morning to decide how to dispense the payroll.

From the 15-minute telephone conversation, Schille learned that the Warrior Hotel Operating Co., which leased the inn from Gotham, has filed bankruptcy. He also was told that David Lawton, owner of Gotham, is the hotel's landlord and is not legally responsible for the payroll.

Schille, who also has gone without pay, prefaced his report to his employees with "Here's what I learned from New York ... it doesn't reflect my attitude." He told the employees that "I don't know how they will get away without paying vacation pay," adding, "I feel they do have a contract to honor, but who is to honor it? The Warrior is bankrupt."

Schille was told to secure the building and clear it of all people, but that the permanent shops, such as Ferris Florist, Bob Gessell Real Estate, the Warrior Beauty Shop Salon and Warrior Barber Shop, could remain "intact and unencumbered."

However, Bill Harrison, chief engineer at the inn, said that the four engineers will strike Friday if something isn't done about their back pay, thus threatening the loss of boiler service to the shops.

Mr. Harrison, a four-year employee of the hotel, has worked the past 30 days without pay which would amount to approximately $700.


"If we don't receive pay or a settlement," Harrison said, "the engineers are going to seal up the building and it can't operate with engineers."

Mrs. Albert Ferris, whose family has operated a florist shop in the hotel since its opening, pleaded with Harrison to stay on the job.

"Keep the boilers going," she told him. "If you strike what will happen to us?"

"I'm not fighting ... I'm for what's right for everyone ... I'm all for you" she told the htoel employees.

"Strike or anything else, but not the boilers," she pleaded.

She explained that the florist firm's investment "is so big" that a move to a new location would be impossible.

Mrs. Naomi Leary, owner of the Warrior Beauty Salon since 1945, said that her shop remains open and that she wants to stay in her present location despite offers to move. She said she was hopeful that the Audino brothers would take over the hotel.

Joseph and Frank Audino, Sioux City development contractors, are in the process of purchasing the hotel and transferring the title. Schille praised the Audinos who he said "are trying their best to complete this transaction in an orderly manner and fair way to begin a new project."

Schille also praised the employees calling them "a team," "loyal" and deserving of "high recommendations." Mrs. June Michalsky, a maid, said she suspected that "something was coming" but felt it would happen in September.

"We were busy," she reflected.

She thanked Schille for "standing by all of us" but criticized Gotham.

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