via Sun Times: Restaurant and concessions workers at O’Hare Airport are warning holiday travelers that their trips could be affected by a possible strike for more affordable health insurance and higher wages…
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – December 15, 2017
Contact: Noah Carson-Nelson
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
UNITE HERE Local 1 represents about 3,700 food service workers at Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway International Airports.
via Chicago Sun Times: Restaurant and concessions workers at O’Hare Airport voted on Thursday to authorize a strike for more affordable health insurance and higher wages….
via Chicago Tribune: Workers at O’Hare International Airport’s restaurants, bars and coffee shops voted Thursday to strike in an effort to secure higher wages and more affordable health insurance…
via LA Times: Workers at restaurants, bars and coffee shops at O’Hare International Airport have voted to authorize a strike amid ongoing contract negotiations…
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – December 7, 2017
Contact: Noah Carson-Nelson
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
“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
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
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.
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
Media Advisory for November 14, 2017
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.
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
UNITE HERE Local 1 represents over 15,000 hospitality and food service workers in the City of Chicago and surrounding area.