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D.C. Hotel Workers Win Groundbreaking Contracts

Photo by Chris Garlock

This is a cross-post from Union City by Chris Garlock, communications director of the Metropolitan Washington [D.C.] Council, AFL-CIO.

After weeks of picketing hotels across the District of Columbia and months of contract negotiations, area hotel workers have won groundbreaking contracts, says UNITEHERE! Local 25 Executive Secretary-Treasurer John Boardman.

For weeks, hotel workers with bright “UNITEHERE!” signs have popped up outside hotels across the metro area as UNITEHERE! Local 25 battled for far-reaching goals at more than 20 hotels. Boardman told Union City:

We had five goals for this negotiation round and we reached them all.

As of today, Local 25 members at 17 area hotels have successfully won their first long-term—5.5 years—contract, health care security for the entire contact, a 27 percent wage increase and a 50 percent increase in pension contributions over the life of the contract.

In addition to these substantial wins, Boardman says the local was able to get “groundbreaking language” in the contracts that will increase protection for immigrant workers against unfair treatment and further protect all workers from workplace abuse.

And though a contract ratification vote is set for Wednesday, Local 25 is not quite done; with just seven more hotels still in negotiations, Boardman is “hopeful we’ll get another few hotels in by Wednesday.”

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