Wednesday, September 13, 2006

SF Hotel Workers Rising! Reach Settlement - No Strike!

06sept4 local2winningtogether, originally uploaded by ericmar.

Breaking news from Labor Journalist David Bacon:
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - 9/13/06 - San Francisco hotel workers announce that their union, UNITE HERE Local 2, has reached agreement on a new contract with the city's leading hotels.
UNITE HERE Local 2 negotiated for over two years with thirteen San Francisco Class A hotels in the Multi Employer Group, and went without a contract during that time. The union acheived its major goals, including card-check neutrality to make it easier for workers in non-union hotels in San Francisco and San Mateo Counties to join the union. Workers won substantial wage and benefit increases, and defeated an attempt to make them accept a two-tier arrangement giving new workers a lower wage and benefit standard. The union accepted no concessions.

Negotiations are part of a national campaign, Hotel Workers Rising, in which hotel unions in many cities are negotiating new contracts this year. San Francisco workers took a strike vote in August, along with workers in Hawaii, Chicago, Toronto and Monterey. When the Local 2 contract expired two years ago, the union wanted a new agreement that would expire this year, so that it would be able to negotiate at the same time other hotel locals were bargaining in other cities. The MEG refused, and Local 2 struck four hotels for two weeks. The MEG then locked workers out of all its hotels for nine weeks.
Employers were finally forced to lift the lockout, with the intervention of Mayor Gavin Newsom, but the union had to continue to work without a contract until the completion of the new agreement. Local 2's bargaining committee recommended the contract unanimously, and the membership is expected to ratify it by a large majority.
Contracts have also expired in over thirty other SF hotels, covering over 5000 workers, and negotiations there are continuing. The union says it will not accept a lower standard in those hotels. More from David Bacon

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