Workers tell Ohio Pension System: Your Hotel Strike Hurts Ohio Pension Investment

Press Release
July 17, 2019

Contact: 
Elliott Mallen, 312-656-5807, emallen@unitehere1.org
Marcos Feldman, 312-206-3407, mfeldman@unitehere.org

Workers tell Ohio Pension System: Your Hotel Strike Hurts Ohio Pension Investment

Strikers at hotel owned by the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System to update pension fund on the financial impact of their boycott

COLUMBUS, OH – Striking workers from the Cambria Chicago Magnificent Mile hotel travelled to Columbus today to update the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System, the hotel’s owner, on the loss of business suffered during their 10-month strike.

Since the strike began, at least 17 organizations or events estimated to be worth approximately $300,000 in hotel business have cancelled room blocks, relocated events, or removed the hotel from promotional materials.

Hotel workers and supporters visited OPERS’ Columbus office to deliver an update on the boycott’s impact and provide copies of petitions calling on OPERS to end the strike.

“As a bellman, I’ve heard customers tell me that they’re staying away until the strike is over,” said Sam Yolo, a bellman at the Cambria. “Ohio public employees, retirees and taxpayers need to know that OPERS’ failure to end the strike has put their investment in this hotel at risk.”

The update comes amid calls from lawmakers and the Ohio AFL-CIO to end the strike at the Cambria.

“The Cambria’s refusal to end the strike is bad for Chicago hotel workers, and it’s bad for Ohio public employees and retirees,” said Ohio AFL-CIO President Tim Burga. “We need to do right by workers and pension participants and bring this strike to an end.”

Part of a citywide 26-hotel strike that began in September, OPERS’ hotel is the only remaining Chicago hotel on strike. The hotel is demanding that housekeepers clean more rooms, a concession not granted at any other hotel that saw a strike last fall.

The hotel’s attorney estimated that it would save about $222,000 in the first year of a proposed labor contract by raising the workload for the Cambria’s housekeepers.

The hotel is operated by Fillmore Hospitality, a firm co-owned by OPERS’ former real estate investments director.

More information about the strike is available at www.CambriaHotelStrike.org.

UNITE HERE Local 1, Chicago’s hospitality workers union, represents over 15,000 hotel and food service workers in Chicago and casino workers in Northwest Indiana.

UNITE HERE Local 1 Awards “Scrooge of the Year” to American Airlines and Gate Gourmet at O’Hare

For release December 21, 2018

Contact: Noah Carson-Nelson

ncarsonnelson[at]unitehere1.org

UNITE HERE Local 1 Awards “Scrooge of the Year” to American Airlines and Gate Gourmet at O’Hare

Chicago, IL — American Airlines and its contracted catering company, Gate Gourmet, were awarded “O’Hare Scrooge of the Year” by UNITE HERE Local 1 today at a union rally at American’s O’Hare Terminal 3.

American Airlines’ caterer, Gate Gourmet, has not raised base wages for its largely immigrant workforce. In contrast, United Airline’s caterer, LSG Sky Chefs, raised base pay at their Chicago kitchen to $13.80 in October, matching the living wage standard set by the City of Chicago for contracted workers at O’Hare and Midway Airports.  60% of Gate Gourmet workers at O’Hare, who cater for American Airlines, earn less than $13.80. Airline catering workers prepare and transport food and beverages for passengers to enjoy inflight.

On one of the busiest travel days of the year, workers took the opportunity to both spread holiday joy and demand pay in line with the airport standard minimum wage.

“American Airlines is being a Scrooge. All I need for Christmas this year is a raise so I can provide a warm home and good food for my family.” said Sheana Spellman, a dishwasher at Gate Gourmet. “We work hard, we do the same work as the people who cater for United, and American needs to tell Gate Gourmet not to be so cheap.”

“American Airlines and Gate Gourmet clearly need a visit from the ghosts that helped Ebenezer Scrooge turn his heart around.” Said UNITE HERE Local 1 President, Karen Kent. “People who cater meals for one of O’Hare’s largest carriers should not be paid less than a living wage.   This is not how our City treats people. We have fought to raise the standard at the airport and we will keep up that fight.”

The push for raises comes as American has invested $78 million in 5 new gates at O’Hare and looks to expand further through the O’Hare expansion over the next several years.

“What right have you to be merry?

 What reason have you to be merry? You’re poor enough.” [Said Scrooge]

“Come, then,” returned the nephew gaily. “What right have you to be dismal?

What reason have you to be morose? You’re rich enough.”

Scrooge having no better answer ready on the spur of the moment, said,

“Bah!” again; and followed it up with “Humbug.”

– Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol

###

UNITE HERE Local 1 represents about 3,700 food service workers at Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway International Airports. Learn more at www.UNITEHERE1.org, or on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at @UNITEHERELocal1.

Chicago Hilton workers ratify new contract

Press Release
September 29, 2018

Contact: 
Elliott Mallen, 312-656-5807, emallen@unitehere1.org
Sarah Lyons, 312-385-0603, slyons@unitehere1.org

Chicago Hilton workers ratify new contract

New agreement ends strike at the Palmer House Hilton, the Drake Hotel, the Hilton Chicago and DoubleTree Chicago Magnificent Mile

CHICAGO, IL – Today hundreds of Hilton hotel workers ratified a new contract, ending the three-week strike at four more hotels. Workers at the Palmer House Hilton, the Drake Hotel, the Hilton Chicago and DoubleTree Chicago Magnificent Mile will return to work tomorrow.

15 hotels have settled contracts with UNITE HERE Local 1 since the citywide hotel strike began on September 7. The new contracts ensure that hotel workers will keep their healthcare if they’re laid off in the wintertime.

About 3,500 hotel workers are covered by new collective bargaining agreements that guarantee wintertime healthcare. Workers at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place and 9 other hotels are still on strike.

**Photos of Hilton workers at the contract ratification available here: http://bit.ly/2P0zi8G**

The following hotels have recently settled contracts with UNITE HERE Local 1:

  • Sheraton
  • W City Center
  • W Lakeshore
  • Westin Michigan Avenue
  • Westin River North
  • JW Marriott
  • Hotel Blake
  • Hotel Allegro
  • Hotel Palomar
  • Knickerbocker Hotel
  • Ritz-Carlton Hotel
  • Palmer House Hilton
  • The Drake Hotel
  • Hilton Chicago
  • DoubleTree Chicago Magnificent Mile

The list of hotels that are still on strike is available at www.ChicagoHotelStrike.org

Striking Hotel Workers to hold Magnificent Mile March

Press Advisory
September 13, 2018

Contact: 
Elliott Mallen, 312-656-5807, emallen@unitehere1.org
Sarah Lyons, 312-385-0603, slyons@unitehere1.org

Striking Hotel Workers to hold Magnificent Mile March

Workers to march down Michigan Avenue as citywide hotel strike nears one-week mark

Who​ Thousands of striking hotel workers from 26 downtown hotels and supporters

What:​​  Rally and march of striking hotel workers

WhereRally at Ogden Park Plaza across from the Sheraton (300 E North Water Street), followed by a march north on the Michigan Avenue sidewalk, terminating at Michigan and Oak

When​​1:00PM, Thursday, Sept. 13

Thousands of hotel housekeepers, servers, cooks and doormen walked out on strike at 25 downtown convention and boutique hotels last Friday, and were joined by workers at a 26th hotel earlier this week.

Striking hotels include the Hyatt Regency Chicago, JW Marriott, Sheraton Grand, and Hilton Chicago. Union contracts with UNITE HERE Local 1 expired on August 31, 2018.

Striking hotel workers deserve year-round health insurance, sick days to see a doctor, workloads that keep them healthy, and wages that keep up with the cost of raising a family.

A full list of striking hotels is available at www.ChicagoHotelStrike.org.

UNITE HERE Local 1 Applauds Democratic Attorneys General Association for Moving Fall Conference to Show Support for Strike in Chicago 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
September 12, 2018

Contact: 
Elliott Mallen, 312-656-5807, emallen@unitehere1.org
Lizzie Ulmer, 269-271-2331, lizzie@democraticags.org

UNITE HERE Local 1 Applauds Democratic Attorneys General Association for Moving Fall Conference to Show Support for Strike in Chicago 

CHICAGO, IL – In response to the Democratic Attorneys General Association (DAGA) moving its Fall Quarterly Policy Program Conference from the JW Marriott to another location in Chicago to show support for workers, UNITE HERE and UNITE HERE Local 1 applauded the Democratic Attorneys General Association for its commitment to supporting workers.

“We applaud the decision of the Democratic Attorneys General Association to stand by the thousands of hospitality workers in Chicago and move their conference site,” said Karen Kent, President of Unite Here Local 1. “We are proud of our members who are making their voices heard this week in Chicago—and we are proud of the Democratic Attorneys General Association for listening.”

Thousands of Chicago hotel housekeepers, servers, cooks and doormen have stopped working and are on strike for year-round healthcare, workloads that keep them healthy, and wages that keep up with the cost of raising a family. Hotel workers are on strike at 26 downtown convention and boutique hotels. Some of the affected hotels include the Hyatt Regency Chicago, JW Marriott, Sheraton Grand, and Hilton Chicago. Union contracts with UNITE HERE Local 1 expired on August 31, 2018.

“Hotels may slow down in the wintertime, but I still need my diabetes medication when I’m laid off. Nobody should lose their health benefits just because it’s cold out. Full-time jobs should have year-round benefits,” said Q. Rivers, a house attendant at the Palmer House Hilton.

DAGA is the only committee dedicated to electing and supporting Democratic Attorneys General. The committee provides political and policy support to Democratic Attorneys General and candidates in their mission to protect civil rights, promote progress and diversity, fight corruption, and ensure the law is applied fairly for all of those that live and work in America.

This week, DAGA was slated to hold its Fall policy conference at the JW Marriott. After the news of the strike, the committee worked tirelessly with UNITE HERE to ensure that Democratic AGs, candidates, and staff would not have to cross a picket-line and ultimately, they moved locations.

Citywide Hotel Strike Grows to 26 Hotels

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 11, 2018 

CONTACT:
Sarah Lyons
(312) 385-0603
slyons@unitehere1.org

Elliott Mallen
(312) 656-5807
emallen@unitehere1.org

Citywide Hotel Strike Grows to 26 Hotels

Cambria Magnificent Mile workers walk off the job as strike enters Day 5

CHICAGO – Workers at the Cambria Chicago Magnificent Mile hotel are joining thousands of hotel workers on strike. Their walkout comes as the citywide Chicago hotel strike enters its fifth day and shows no sign of slowing.

Thousands of hotel housekeepers, servers, cooks and doormen walked out on strike at 25 downtown convention and boutique hotels last Friday. Affected hotels include the Hyatt Regency Chicago, JW Marriott, Sheraton Grand, and Hilton Chicago. Union contracts with UNITE HERE Local 1 expired on August 31, 2018.

Striking hotel workers deserve year-round health insurance, sick days to see a doctor, workloads that keep them healthy, and wages that keep up with the cost of raising a family.

A full list of striking hotels is available at www.ChicagoHotelStrike.org.

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

###

 

Downtown Chicago Hotel Workers Begin Strike

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 7, 2018 

CONTACT:
Sarah Lyons
(312) 385-0603
slyons@unitehere1.org

Elliott Mallen
(312) 656-5807
emallen@unitehere1.org

Downtown Chicago Hotel Workers Begin Strike

CHICAGO, IL – Thousands of Chicago hotel housekeepers, servers, cooks and doormen have stopped working and are on strike.

Hotel workers are striking for year-round health care.

“Hotels may slow down in the wintertime, but I still need my diabetes medication when I’m laid off. Nobody should lose their health benefits just because it’s cold out. Full-time jobs should have year-round benefits,” said Q. Rivers, a house attendant at the Palmer House Hilton.

“They work us like dogs when it’s busy and then kick us to the curb in the winter,” said Rivers.

Striking hotel workers deserve sick days to see a doctor, workloads that keep them healthy, and wages that keep up with the cost of raising a family.

Hotel workers are on strike at 25 downtown convention and boutique hotels. Affected hotels include the Hyatt Regency Chicago, JW Marriott, Sheraton Grand, and Hilton Chicago. Union contracts with UNITE HERE Local 1 expired on August 31, 2018.

A full list of striking hotels is available at www.ChicagoHotelStrike.org.

***Striking hotel workers and union spokespeople will be available for interviews all day beginning at 5:00AM on Friday at the Palmer House Hilton at 17 E Monroe or by request.*** 

***Spanish-language interviews will be available at the Sheraton Grand Chicago from 5:00AM until 1:30PM or by request. ***

###

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