For immediate release
April 8, 2005
215-751-9773 or 215-880-5781 (cell)
On Tuesday, April 5th, members of UNITEHERE Local 274 ratified a new (3) three-year contract with the Wyndham Franklin Plaza. A secret ballot ratification vote was held at the hotel after a presentation of the contract improvements, agreed to between the parties, was made to the members. The new contract was ratified overwhelmingly by a vote of 182 to 6. UNITEHERE Philadelphia Joint Board Director Lynne Fox was the chief negotiator for the union.
The new contract contains numerous improvements including expanded health insurance coverage that includes the members’ children and spouses. The workers agreed to a modest contribution for the additional coverage. Individual coverage is still at no cost to the employee. Employees will also see their wages increase by 3% in September and 3.5% in September of 2006. Housekeeper pay will reach $13.24 per hour in just under 16 months from the ratification vote. Also, non-tipped employees will receive a $600 bonus and tipped workers will receive $300 during their next pay period.
Other contract hi-lights include; the ability to reduce room quotas’ or room dropping in the housekeeping department based on floor travel, length of service, or what day of the week it is. And, if a housekeeper buys extra rooms, the rate is now Â½ of the hourly pay rate for housekeeping or $6.21 per extra room.
“We are very pleased with this settlement” stated Lynne Fox, chief negotiator for UNITEHERE. “The union membership set as a goal; improvements in the health insurance, reducing the room quota for our senior room attendants and a number of other improvement which we were able to win and I think this lop-sided vote demonstrates that the negotiating committee and membership were quite pleased with the settlement” she concluded.
“My co-workers and I feel great about this new contract. Everybody is so excited. We won and we are looking forward to tomorrow when this goes into effect. We wore buttons, marched in the street and stood strong as a group and it paid off’, concluded Ladyce Turner, a member of the union for over 20 years, at the end of the ratification meeting. Ms Turner was a member of the negotiating committee representing the housekeeping department.
UNITEHERE is currently negotiating with 12 other downtown hotels for new contracts. This settlement sets the pattern for these negotiations.