For immediate release
July 29, 2006
Hilton Hotels Corporation (NYSE:HLT) today announced a tentative agreement with the New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council on a new contract relating to the Hilton New York and Waldorf=Astoria Hotels, and also announced a five-year agreement with UNITE HERE that the parties have termed a “Partnership for Future Growth.”
The New York agreement, which is subject to ratification by the Trades Council’s members, is – in terms of economic issues such as wages, benefits, vacation and pension – identical to the contract the Trades Council signed earlier with the New York Hotel Association. That six-year contract calls for hourly wage increases of 4 percent per year for the first three years, and 3.5 percent for the final three years. In addition, Hilton and the Trades Council reached agreement on three outstanding issues related to health and safety and back pay.
“As a prominent employer and hotel operator in New York City, we are pleased to have arrived at this agreement which benefits our 4,000 team members at the Hilton New York and the Waldorf=Astoria,” said Matthew J. Hart, president and chief operating officer of Hilton Hotels Corporation. “New York is booming as a business and leisure destination, and our team members do a fabulous job of serving our customers in the style that keeps them returning to our hotels. We are very happy to have reached agreement and to be moving forward.”
“New York City is where the dream of good hotel jobs comes true. This agreement continues that tradition, and creates new opportunities for other hotel workers to live the dream of good jobs which support their families and build healthy communities,” says John W. Wilhelm, President/Hospitality Industries, UNITE HERE.
Pertinent elements of the Hilton-UNITE HERE “Partnership for Future Growth” agreement include the following:
— Hilton and UNITE HERE have agreed to work together on growth where it makes strategic and economic sense, including card check agreements where appropriate.
— Hilton and UNITE HERE will work together toward labor peace in other cities with collective bargaining this year and for the five-year period of the agreement, including Hilton receiving preferred status as a hotel management company of choice for the union.
— A structure that binds the two parties to explore ways to enhance Hilton Hotels’ productivity and competitiveness, especially in the area of food service and restaurants.
“These are good times for all of us associated with the lodging industry, and we believe that cooperation and productive dialogue between labor and operators is an important factor in helping keep our industry strong and moving onward and upward,” Mr. Hart said. “Well over 20 percent of our team members in the US are represented by a union, easily the highest percentage in the industry, so we are accustomed to working constructively with those who represent our employees. It is in this spirit of cooperation that we are pleased to have reached this agreement with UNITE HERE on behalf of our valued team members, and we look forward to even brighter days ahead.”
“With this agreement, Hilton proves it cares about the people who create the guest experience,” explains UNITE HERE General President Bruce Raynor. “That means better hotel jobs, better customer service and a healthier industry. And hotel guests who care about working people can now choose a hotel with confidence, knowing they are choosing a hotel that values working people.”