After many months of bargaining, UNITEHERE! and Hilton Worldwide have reached tentative agreements at hotels in three major markets—Chicago, San Francisco and Honolulu. The tentative agreements cover nearly 4,000 workers.
While terms of the settlements vary in each city, the contracts include wage increases, improved job stability language and reduced workloads for housekeeping staff and others. Significantly, the new contracts also preserve low-cost, high-quality health care and pension benefits for Hilton workers and their families at a time when, nationwide, these employee benefits are being cut.
UNITEHERE! President John Wilhelm said in a statement:
We are pleased to have achieved a fair settlement for all sides—one that allows workers to move forward and share in the robust recovery that the hotel industry is experiencing.
The contracts for Hilton workers expired in Chicago and San Francisco in August 2009 and in Hawaii in June 2010. Bargaining continues for contracts at other hotel chains, affecting thousands more workers in those three cities and several other cities across North America.
Nationwide, the hotel industry is already rebounding faster and stronger than expected. PKF Hospitality projects that hotel revenues will rise an average of 8 percent annually from 2010 through 2014.
This blog originally appeared in blog.aflcio.org on March 7, 2011. Reprinted with Permission.
About the Author: James Parks first encounter with unions was at Gannett’s newspaper in Cincinnati when his colleagues in the newsroom tried to organize a unit of The Newspaper Guild. He saw firsthand how companies pull out all the stops to prevent workers from forming a union. He is a journalist by trade, and has worked for newspapers in five different states before joining the AFL-CIO staff in 1990. He also has been a seminary student, drug counselor, community organizer, event planner, adjunct college professor and county bureaucrat. His proudest career moment, though, was when he served, along with other union members and staff, as an official observer for South Africa’s first multiracial elections.