The employees of the hotel were in the middle of a labor dispute with hotel management; negotiations between the hotel and the employees’ union, Local 901 of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, had begun in October 1986.The union represented 250 out of the hotel’s 450 total employees.One of the main issues causing the dispute was an alleged management plan to terminate 60 union members from employment and replace them with non-union employees. In the week the fire took place, there had been three smaller fires at the hotel: one in a linen closet, one in a pile of cardboard boxes, and another in a roll of carpeting. Management had then added thirty more security guards. Tension between management and employees had become so great that desk clerks, taxi drivers, and local food stand employees were advising tourists to stay away from the hotel and its casino. One week after the fire, the Governor of Puerto Rico, Rafael Hernández Colón, stated that, according to preliminary reports, in the days before the fire “information was going around that something was going to happen”.fire in Puerto Rican history, and the second in the history of the United States.So many people sued the hotel that they had to close hotel operations.The can that contained the substance that burned was put on the North Ballroom by a stack of unboxed furniture. Ten years later it re-opened as the Marriot Hotel & Stellaris Casino.