Illegal lock out at the Kinzie Hotel ends, workers reinstated

Friday, September 8

Sarah Lyons, [email protected], 312-385-0603

Illegal lock out at the Kinzie Hotel ends, workers reinstated

Chicago – After a bargaining session between UNITE HERE Local 1 and the Kinzie Hotel on Thursday, September 7, the illegal lock out has ended. The parties worked through the night to reach a resolution whereby the Kinzie Hotel will reinstate every locked out worker.

The locked out workers return to work starting Friday, September 8, for their usual shifts.

“I’m a single mom of three. My middle daughter has special needs. My job is how I take care of my family and where I find peace in my stressful life. I am so relieved to be going back to work,” said Aide Herrera, a room attendant who has worked at the Kinzie Hotel for 18 years.

“I’m grateful to everyone who stood with us during this lock out. Today we return to work with justice being served. My colleagues and I are eager to return to the work that we love so much,” said Jose Sanchez who has worked as a houseperson at the Kinzie Hotel for 16 years.

In the bargaining session, the parties also finalized the outstanding contract issues and came to a tentative agreement, pending union member ratification. If ratified, the new contract at the Kinzie Hotel will be on par with the contracts ratified at thirty-one other Chicago hotels, providing a $25 per hour minimum for non-tipped workers, preserving workers’ excellent healthcare coverage, and strengthening their pensions. The ratification vote will take place on Sunday, September 10.

“I am so proud of our union members at the Kinzie hotel who were unwavering in their commitment to their union and to one another. They showed grace and grit every day they were locked out. To the broader labor community and allies who answered the call to support the locked out Kinzie workers, I have no doubt your solidarity brought this victory home,” said Karen Kent, President of UNITE HERE Local 1.

On Labor Day, just days after the illegal lock out began on September 2, labor leaders, elected officials and community supporters rallied with Kinzie hotel workers to demand their reinstatement. Leaders who spoke at the rally included Bob Reiter, President of the Chicago Federation of Labor, Don Villar, Secretary-Treasurer of the Chicago Federation of Labor, Tim Drea, President of the Illinois AFL-CIO, Fr. Clete Kiley, Chaplain for the Chicago Federation of Labor, Greg Kelley, President of SEIU Healthcare Illinois Indiana Missouri & Kansas (HCIIMK) & the SEIU Illinois State Council, Corliss King, 2nd Vice President of TWU Local 556- the Union of Southwest Airlines Flight Attendants, William Niesman, Business Manager, IBEW / Local 9, Alderperson Michael D. Rodriguez (22nd Ward), Illinois State Senator Javier L. Cervantes (1st District), and Roushaunda Williams, Vice President Illinois AFL-CIO Executive Board.