For immediate release
January 14, 2005
"We got what we needed AND what we wanted," says worker
After more than five months of negotiations, representatives for workers from 14 DC hotels and the Hotel Association have reached a tentative agreement. The union had set a deadline of January 15 to reach an agreement or take further action, up to and including a strike. That action will be held until the workers vote on whether to accept or reject the settlement. Members will vote to ratify the contract early next week. A press conference will be called to announce the results.
Hundreds of members participated in negotiations, and were present when the tentative agreement was reached. The room exploded with excitement and joy.
“This is amazing. We did this. By being strong, and sticking together, we got what we needed AND what we wanted,” said Delores Peoples, a switchboard operator at Loew’s L’Enfant Plaza.
“Our members proved again and again that they were both ready to reach an agreement, and ready to strike if they had to. Because of that resolve, we have made a huge leap forward for hotel workers in the District,” says John Boardman, Executive Secretary Treasurer UNITE HERE Local 25. “This is my proudest moment. This is the best settlement ever in the history of Local 25.”
As a result of the tentative agreement, there will be no work interruptions and the hotels will be able to proceed with all guest services for inauguration week as planned. The contract language includes new protections from workload increases, harassment at the workplace and other problems workers sought to improve. The economic package improves wages, pension contributions and maintains a strong health care package. Details will be released after members have read and voted on the contract.
For more information please call Amanda Cooper at 917-533-4050. UNITE HERE Local 25 represents nearly 5000 hotel workers in the Washington DC area. UNITE HERE is the merged union of hospitality, gaming, apparel, textile and laundry workers. The new union represents nearly half a million workers in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico.
To learn more about the Hotel Workers United campaign, visit www.hotelworkersunited.org. To get more information about labor unrest at specific hotels, visit www.hotellaboradvisor.info. More information can be found at www.unitehere.org. If you have questions, or would like to arrange in interview, please call Amanda Cooper at 917-533-4050.