HMSHost and UNITE HERE Local 1 Reach Contract Agreement at O’Hare

HMSHost and UNITE HERE Local 1 Reach Contract Agreement at O’Hare

For Immediate Release

Media contacts:

 UNITE HERE Local 1:                        HMSHost:
Noah Carson-Nelson                        Eric Herman
ncarsonnelson@unitehere1.org        eherman@kivvit.com
(312)933-4045                    (312) 664-0153

CHICAGO, IL — UNITE HERE, Local 1 and HMSHost today announced the ratification of a collective bargaining agreement covering more than 1,300 associates who work in the domestic terminals as baristas, bartenders, and in other food and beverage services in Chicago O’Hare International Airport . The term of this agreement extends through June 30, 2021. The contract includes wage increases for all associates and options for continued access to HMSHost’s health-care plans or enrollment in UNITE HERE Health, expanding healthcare choices for workers.

HMSHost O’Hare workers will earn wages equal to or higher than those laid out by Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s executive order regarding City of Chicago concessions contractors, ensuring that employment in restaurants at O’Hare offer pathways to long-term careers.

“The advances made in this contract reflect a joint effort between HMSHost and the Union,” said Karen Kent, President of UNITE HERE Local 1. “Chicago City Council recently approved an $8.5 billion investment in O’Hare Airport. We are proud that that O’Hare will be a gold standard airport in our world-class city. We all look forward to a new era at O’Hare, as Chicago attracts more and more visitors and our members continue to be some of the first faces to welcome travelers in Chicago.”

“This new agreement reinforces HMSHost’s commitment and investment in our associates, and it clearly sets us apart as the employer of choice at O’Hare. HMSHost values its associates and their dedication to providing the best possible experience for the travelers at O’Hare day in and day out,” stated Laura E. FitzRandolph, HMSHost Executive Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer. “We look forward to working with the union to ensure that together, we provide the best possible experience for travelers.”

“We salute both UNITE HERE Local 1 and HMSHost on this landmark agreement,” said Bob Reiter, President of the Chicago Federation of Labor. “This is a watershed moment for O’Hare. The historic investment in the infrastructure of O’Hare cements our status as a City second to none. And this new contract is an investment in the hardworking Chicagoans who are the heart of one our city’s greatest economic engines.”

About HMSHost
Global restaurateur HMSHost is a world leader in creating dining for travel venues. HMSHost operates in more than 120 airports around the globe and 99 travel plazas in North America. The Company has annual sales in excess of $3.1 billion and employs more than 39,500 sales associates worldwide. HMSHost is a part of Autogrill Group, the world’s leading provider of food & beverage services for people on the move. With sales of over €4.5 billion in 2016, the Group operates in 31 countries and employs over 57,000 people. It manages approximately 4,000 stores in about 1,000 locations worldwide. Visit www.HMSHost.com for more information. We can also be found on Facebook at fb.com/HMSHost and on Twitter at @HMSHost.

About UNITE HERE Local 1
UNITE HERE Local 1 represents about 3,700 food service workers at Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway International Airports, including more than 1,300 Starbucks baristas, restaurant servers, cooks, other food and beverage concessions workers who are employed by HMSHost at O’Hare. Learn more about Local 1 at www.UNITEHERE1.org, fb.com/UNITEHERELocal1, and on Twitter at @UNITEHERELocal1.

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Constitutionality of Chicago Airport Security Rules Called Into Question Following Overreach by Department of Aviation

UNITE HERE Local 1 Member Files Challenge to Citation by CDA & CPD

For Release January 19, 2018
Media Contact: Noah Carson-Nelson
312-933-4045 – ncarsonnelson@unitehere1.org

CHICAGO, IL – On Thursday, January 18, UNITE HERE Local 1 member Justice Castillo, by attorneys Tom Durkin and Robin Waters of Durkin & Roberts, filed a motion to challenge a citation issued by the Chicago Department of Aviation and the constitutionality of Chicago Municipal Code airport employee badging regulations.

Information on the challenge filing was brought to light today at an administrative hearing regarding a citation under the ordinance in question. Justice Castillo, a 22 year old Starbucks barista at HMSHost O’Hare Airport, was cited on December 21 for not properly supervising UNITE HERE Local 1 union organizers in a secure area of the airport as they cued workers for an upcoming strike; Justice is one of three HMSHost employees assigned to escort union organizers while they talk with union members inside O’Hare terminals. Police stopped Justice, took her security badge, and escorted Justice and the union organizers she was accompanying out of the airport. Justice’s security badge has been returned, but the citation could result in a fine.

A motion has been filed to challenge Justice’s citation and the constitutionality of the Chicago Municipal Code. As the citation was made at a key moment in an ongoing labor dispute, the motion contends that the issuance of the citation was a violation of Justice’s First Amendment rights; and that the citation also violated Justice’s rights under the National Labor Relations Act. The challenge to the Chicago Municipal Code asserts that §10-36-353(B) of the Code is overly vague in its description how employees who escort non-badged persons in the airport must “direct and control” those they are escorting at all times.

“This young woman was caught in the crossfire when she was cited for violation of an ordinance that we believe is fundamentally flawed. UNITE HERE will not be accepting any form of punishment for Justice.” Said Karen Kent, UNITE HERE Local 1 President. “We intend to challenge the constitutionality of this ordinance which we believe infringes upon Justice’s First Amendment rights to speech, assembly, and association.”

While HMSHost workers were on strike on December 21, CDA Commissioner Ginger Evans crossed the union picket line and tweeted a photo from inside O’Hare airport terminal restaurants and implied there was not a strike.

***** VISUAL: UNITE HERE Local 1 members waited outside Castillo’s January 18 CDA Administrative Hearing, wearing emerald green aprons which read “Justice at the Airport” and are screen printed with a picture of Justice Castillo.

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UNITE HERE Local 1 represents approximately 3,700 food service workers at Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway International Airports, including more than 1200 servers, bartenders, Starbucks baristas, and other restaurant workers employed by HMSHost. HMSHost does not currently have a contract with UNITE HERE Local 1.

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National Labor Relations Board charges Hyatt Regency Chicago over video surveillance practices

Chicago’s largest hotel refuses to disclose information on its technologies used to track workers and guests

CHICAGO, IL – The National Labor Relations Board filed a complaint against the Hyatt Regency Chicago this week for refusing to disclose information on its surveillance system. Hotel union UNITE HERE Local 1 requested this information in 2017 to determine whether hotel managers have used facial recognition or other tracking technologies to monitor hotel employees.

The NLRB charged that the Hyatt Regency Chicago has refused to disclose whether it has used facial recognition software in the past, and has refused to detail how it locates or tracks specific workers in the hotel. The hotel is required to respond to the complaint by January 26.

“We are very concerned that the Hyatt Regency Chicago has refused to say how it surveils and tracks hotel employees or guests,” said UNITE HERE Local 1 President Karen Kent. “Hyatt’s silence on this matter sets a dangerous precedent for other hotels in the city.”

Illinois state law bans the use biometric data, including a record of face geometry, without the subject’s consent. The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that more than 50 lawsuits concerning the use of facial recognition software have been filed in Illinois since June 2017, according to K&L Gates LLP. The report did not indicate whether any of these suits is against the Hyatt Regency Chicago.

The 2,019-room Hyatt Regency Chicago is the largest hotel in the city of Chicago and employs roughly 800 members of UNITE HERE Local 1. The hotel is owned by corn product manufacturer Kato Kagaku Co. Ltd.

Press contact:
Elliott Mallen, UNITE HERE
emallen@unitehere.org
(312) 656-5807

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UNITE HERE Local 1 represents over 15,000 hospitality and food service workers in the City of Chicago and surrounding area.

BREAKING: O’Hare Airport Bartenders, Cooks, other Restaurant Workers Strike

ohareCHICAGO, IL— O’Hare Airport restaurant workers employed by HMSHost International are on strike. Workers at some food service outlets walked off the job in an effort to gain affordable, quality healthcare as a part of a new union contract.

Striking workers, who are Starbucks baristas, servers, cooks, and other restaurant workers, are picketing HMSHost outside airport terminals.

The last negotiating session between HMSHost and UNITE HERE Local 1 was December 14, after which the union and company remained far apart on key issues.

A survey by UNITE HERE of 375 HMSHost workers at O’Hare found:

  • 42% of HMSHost workers surveyed say they do not enroll in insurance plans HMSHost offers because they cannot afford it.
  • 1 in 3 HMSHost workers surveyed report that they, their spouse, or a child rely on a government program for healthcare coverage
  • 1 in 4 HMSHost workers surveyed said that in the past year, a family member had not received doctor’s care, prescription medications, or other medical treatment because the family needed the money to buy food, clothing, or pay for housing

More results from this survey and HMSHost workers’ reasons for needing quality, affordable healthcare can be found at www.unitehere1.org/WeDeserveBetter.

“My coworkers and I need a contract that protects our health, our jobs, and our families. We are going to keep up the pressure on HMSHost until we get it,” said Boddrick Barnes, a cook at HMSHost and union negotiating committee member.

Contact: Noah Carson-Nelson
312-933-4045 – ncarsonnelson@unitehere1.org

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UNITE HERE Local 1 represents about 3,700 food service workers at Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway International Airports.

No Contract for O’Hare Restaurant Workers Yet: Holiday Travelers Advised to be Prepared for a Strike

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – December 15, 2017
Contact: Noah Carson-Nelson
312-933-4045 – ncarsonnelson@unitehere1.org

No Contract for O’Hare Restaurant Workers Yet
Holiday Travelers Advised to be Prepared for a Strike

 CHICAGO, IL – HMSHost International and UNITE HERE Local 1 remain far apart on key issues after a negotiation session on December 14th. The contract negotiations affects more than 1200 people who work as bartenders, Starbucks baristas, cooks among other classifications at O’Hare International Airport.

“The company is proposing temporary solutions to permanent problems,” said Tamekah Shivers, a Starbucks barista at HMSHost and union negotiating committee member.

The union advises holiday travelers to be prepared for disrupted services at O’Hare restaurants, bars and Starbucks kiosks. Last week, HMSHost workers voted in favor to authorize the union negotiating committee to call a strike at any time.

UNITE HERE is hand-billing locally and in airports across the country to alert holiday travelers to a possible strike of O’Hare restaurant workers. Sample handbill can be found here.

The next negotiations are scheduled on January 11, 2018

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UNITE HERE Local 1 represents about 3,700 food service workers at Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway International Airports.

 

Restaurant Workers, Starbucks Baristas at O’Hare Airport Vote to Strike

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – December 7, 2017
Contact: Noah Carson-Nelson
312-933-4045 – ncarsonnelson@unitehere1.org

Restaurant Workers, Starbucks Baristas at O’Hare Airport Vote to Strike
After months of working under an expired contract, workers for HMSHost at O’Hare Airport authorize their
Union Negotiating Committee to call a strike at any time

CHICAGO, IL – On Thursday, December 7, food concessions workers Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport
voted to authorize the union negotiating committee to call for job actions, up to and including a strike. Workers
are members of UNITE HERE Local 1, employed by HMSHost International, and have been working under an
expired contract since August 2017.

They hope to settle a contract with HMSHost which includes quality, affordable health insurance and an end to
poverty wages at O’Hare before the Christmas holiday. This vote affects more than 1,200 people who work as
baristas, cooks, servers, bussers, and bartenders, among other classifications at Starbucks, Wolfgang Puck
Express, The Publican Tavern (a One Off Hospitality brand), Summer House Santa Monica (a Lettuce
Entertain You Enterprises brand), Chili’s Grill & Bar, and Tortas Frontera (a Rick Bayless Brand) among
others.

“It’s time to come together and stand up for our health and our families.” Said Tamekah Shivers, a Barista at a
Starbucks store at O’Hare, “I have to sacrifice to get the healthcare I need, I catch myself wondering: How am I
paying my bills? How am I getting food for my kids? I refuse to sacrifice like that anymore.” About 230 people
work at 17 HMSHost Starbucks stores in O’Hare Airport. 81% of baristas at HMSHost make less than the
Airport Minimum Wage of $13.45 per hour, though this minimum wage does not currently apply to
HMSHost.(1)

A survey by UNITE HERE of 375 HMSHost O’Hare workers found:

  • 1 in 4 HMSHost workers surveyed said that in the past year, a family member had not received doctor’s
    care, prescription medications, or other medical treatment because the family needed the money to buy
    food, clothing, or pay for housing
  • 42% of HMSHost workers surveyed say they do not enroll in insurance plans HMSHost offers because
    they cannot afford it.
  • 1 in 3 HMSHost workers surveyed report that they, their spouse, or a child rely on a government program
    for healthcare coverage

“Our members provide world class hospitality at one of the busiest airports in the country.” says Karen Kent,
President of UNITE HERE Local 1. “They serve Chicagoans and travelers from all over the world everyday—
that warrants a fair wage, respect, and good, affordable healthcare. We are proud to stand with HMSHost workers
as they fight for what they deserve.”

“We’ve had enough of poverty wages, unaffordable healthcare, and disrespect from our managers and HMSHost,
if it takes a strike to win a good contract, we’re ready.” Said Boddrick Barnes, a cook at Macaroni Grill at
O’Hare.

Contract negotiations between HMSHost and UNITE HERE Local 1are next scheduled for December 14.

(1) The Mayor’s Executive Order which establishes the Airport Minimum Wage applies to City of Chicago contracts advertised
on or after October 1, 2014 Executive Order No. 2014-01.  

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UNITE HERE Local 1 represents about 3,700 food service workers at Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway
International Airports. Additional results from survey referenced can be found at www.unitehere1.org/WeDeserveBetter

“NO HARVEY HOTELS IN CHICAGO”

Media Advisory for November 14, 2017

CONTACT: 
Sarah Lyons
312-385-0603
slyons@unitehere.org

City Leaders and hospitality workers to kick-off implementation of new law to protect Chicago hotel workers from sexual harassment and assault

Chicago, IL – Tuesday, November 14, City Clerk Anna Valencia and UNITE HERE Local 1 will hold a cake-cutting ceremony with Chicago hotel workers to kick-off the implementation of the “Hands Off Pants On” ordinance, the City’s new law to protect Chicago hotel workers from sexual harassment and assault.noharveys

The ceremony will begin at 9am on the 2nd floor of City Hall with Clerk Anna Valencia serving as the honorary cake cutter. The cake will read “NO HARVEYS IN CHICAGO” and feature the face of Hollywood mogul, Harvey Weinstein, with a red X.  The Chicago City Council unanimously approved the “Hands Off Pants On” ordinance on October 11, as news of the allegations against Harvey Weinstein broke.

The passage of the landmark legislation places Chicago at the fore of a national conversation about workplace sexual harassment. Spearheaded by the Chicago Federation of Labor and Alderman Michelle Harris (8th Ward), the “Hands Off Pants On” ordinance requires Chicago hotels to provide panic buttons to hotel workers who work alone in guest rooms and rest rooms, protects hotel workers from retaliation when they report sexual violence by guests, and requires hotels to implement an anti-sexual harassment policy. A 2016 survey conducted by UNITE HERE Local 1 of 487 women working in the Chicagoland hospitality industry found that 58% of Chicago hotel workers surveyed said they had been sexually harassed by a guest.[i]

WHAT: “Hands Off Pants On: No Harvey Hotels in Chicago” Kick-Off and Cake-Cutting

WHEN: Tuesday, November 14, 2017 at 9 a.m.

WHERE: Podium outside Chicago City Council Chambers, 121 N. LaSalle Dr., 2nd Floor, Chicago, IL 60602

WHO:   Anna Valencia, City Clerk of Chicago
Karen Kent, President of UNITE HERE Local 1
Chicago hotel workers

VISUALS: T-shirts and ceremonial cake featuring “NO HARVEYS IN CHICAGO” with face of Hollywood mogul, Harvey Weinstein, with a red X. Preview available here: http://bit.ly/2m9X20a

 

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 UNITE HERE Local 1 represents over 15,000 hospitality and food service workers in the City of Chicago and surrounding area.

 

[i] https://www.handsoffpantson.org/wp-content/uploads/HandsOffReportWeb.pdf