For immediate release
January 18, 2005
Members overwhelmingly endorse agreement,
with a yes vote of 97%
UNITE HERE Local 25 members today ratified a strong contract and avoided a disruptive strike during the inaugural week. The economic package includes the largest wage increase in 20 years and a 63% increase in management’s contribution to the pension fund. And there are changes to almost every article of the contract designed to improve conditions in the workplace and strengthen the rights of workers.
“This is a great contract,” says Patrick Deyhill, a switchboard operator at the Marriott Wardman Park. “Well fought, hard won, and well deserved.”
- A raise of $.50/hour in the first year, retroactive to the contract expiration date, September 15, 2004. Increases of $.40/hour for the second and third years.
- 100% employer paid health care for all current and future employees who work the required hours (24 hours/week for single coverage, 32 hours a week for family coverage).
- A 63% increase in management’s contribution to the pension fund, increasing the potential retirement benefit from a maximum of $525/month to as much as $780/month by 2007.
- New language guaranteeing workers an 8 hour work day. Some hotels had begun scheduling workers for shorter shifts, where they would earn less money and have difficulty getting enough hours to qualify for insurance coverage. This new language assures full time work and benefits for members who want it.
- If management intentionally underpays a worker, they must pay up to 10% interest on the money the worker is owed.
Respect and Dignity on the Job
- Strong language to protect workers against increases in their workloads, including a requirement to discuss significant changes with the union, and expedited arbitration for problems.
- New language protecting workers from abusive managers by allowing them to take complaints to an independent arbitrator.
- Housekeepers with 30 years of service and quotas above 14 rooms will get to drop one room from their quotas.
- Improvement to the arbitration process, so that issues between workers and management will be resolved in a timely fashion.
- The contract does not include language requested by management to subject injured employees to drug testing, to use managers to fill in for laid off workers, and to unlimited job combinations.
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.