While most attention in the Boston tragedy is rightfully focused on the victims of last Monday's bombings at the Boston Marathon, the damage done by the terrorist attacks didn't end with the explosions or the subsequent shootout that led to additional deaths. Much of the city shut down during the manhunt for the terror suspects; and while most salaried employees could take the day off without losing pay, low-wage workers did not have that luxury. Other workers were forced to work long hours or brave dangerous conditions to get their jobs done.
Chances are you may not have heard of tip theft. And if you have, it's probably not what you think. Tip theft is when restaurant owners and managers systematically steal restaurant and hotel workers hard-earned money.
UNITE HERE Local 54 casino workers in Atlantic City, N.J., are pitching in to help their members and the local community impacted by Hurricane Sandy. Local 54 has started a Helping Hands Relief Center to provide the public with information and help to apply for services. Local 54 President Bob McDevitt told the Press of Atlantic City newspaper:
There is an incredible need in the community....We felt we should coordinate this. As far as organizations go, we connect to most of the people.
When workers earn a living wage, the entire community benefits, says Jorge Sanchez, a Long Beach, Calif., hotel worker who is part of a coalition of workers, community activists and small business owners working to pass a living wage ordinance in the city.
With a living wage, we can support small businesses and we can spend more in the community. Small businesses are the backbone of the community and if we have more money, we can support them.
With bed bug infestations on the rise, pesticide illness related to bed bug control is an increasing problem. A national study reported illnesses among workers who applied pesticides to treat bed bugs and among hotel and maintenance workers who entered rooms after they were treated.
Congratulations to the newest members of UNITEHERE!—75 housekeepers, front desk attendants and others at the Hilton Boston Downtown whose persistence in the face of management roadblocks resulted in a successful effort to unionize. The workers waged nine months of sit-ins, pickets and talks with Hilton management before formally winning a voice at work Friday.
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.
We had five goals for this negotiation round and we reached them all.
Over the weekend, all eyes were on the Super Bowl in Indianapolis, where tens of thousands traveled to see the event and hundreds of thousands more watched it on television. But while the spotlight was on the game, workers across the city took to the streets to protest the outrages happening to working people.