For immediate release
August 20, 2010
Houston, TX – By a 98% margin, members of UNITE HERE Local 251, the Houston hospitality workers union, ratified a new 5-year contract covering approximately 450 workers at the Houston Hilton Americas.
The new contract provides for a $0.40 increase in the first year for non-tipped workers, and nearly $2.00 increase for those classifications over the term of the contract. Workers also succeeded in driving down the cost of health insurance for the individual worker, from about $60 per month now to $40 per month by the end of the contract. Family insurance costs are controlled through the term of the contract. Workers also won protections against sub-contracting, use of temporary workers in bargaining unit positions, and allowing workers from one classification to replace workers in another classification, as well as assurance that any buyer of the hotel will assume the union contract during the term of the contract.
Clarence Richardson, a banquet cook at the Hilton and newly-elected president of Local 251, said, "On behalf of all my coworkers at the Hilton, we are proud of the contract we fought to win. For more than six months the company told us they didn’t want to give us any raises in 2010, and only a $0.10 increase in 2011. This does not reflect either the work we do in one of Houston’s premiere hotels, or the rising costs our families face every day outside of work. We stuck together and won a good contract for all of the workers at the downtown Hilton, and succeeded in setting a standard for all hotel and hospitality workers in this state."
UNITE HERE Local 251 represents 800 hospitality workers in Houston. UNITE HERE International Union represents workers throughout the U.S. and Canada who work in the hospitality, gaming, food service, and airport industries.
The Hilton Americas-Houston is the city’s largest convention center hotel, located in downtown Houston next to the George R. Brown Convention Center.