Update: Hotel strike settled!

Good news since our last posting about the strike at the Hilton San Francisco, where the COABE conference will be held this year.

UNITE HERE and Hilton reach settlements in Chicago, San Francisco, and Hawaii*

After extensive negotiations, Hilton leads industry with contracts that move workers forward as the industry emerges from recession.

After many months of bargaining, UNITE HERE and Hilton Worldwide have reached tentative settlements in three major markets–Chicago, San Francisco, and Honolulu. The agreements signal a major breakthrough in citywide hotel negotiations nationally and a path forward for hotel workers as the hospitality industry emerges from the recession. The tentative agreements, affecting nearly 4,000 workers, have been recommended by the respective negotiating committees in each city and are subject to ratification by the local membership.

While terms of the settlements vary in each city, the contracts include wage increases, improved job stability language, and reduced workloads for housekeeping staff and others. Significantly, the new contracts also preserve low-cost, high-quality healthcare and pension benefits for Hilton workers and their families at a time when nationwide these employee benefits are being cut.

“We are pleased to have achieved a fair settlement for all sides–one that allows workers to move forward and share in the robust recovery that the hotel industry is experiencing,” says John Wilhelm, President of UNITE HERE. “We applaud Hilton for leading the way and upholding a decent standard for service workers in the hospitality industry.”

Contracts for Hilton workers expired in Chicago and San Francisco in August 2009 and in Hawaii in June of 2010. The settlement with Hilton brings newfound stability to three major hospitality markets, which have faced protracted disputes with other major employers, including Hyatt Hotels (NYSE: H) and Starwood.

Nationwide, the hotel industry is already rebounding faster and stronger than expected. PKF Hospitality projects that hotel revenues will rise an average of 8% annually from 2010 through 2014. Bargaining continues for contracts affecting thousands more hotel workers in Chicago, San Francisco, Honolulu and several other cities across North America.

*republished from UNITE/HERE

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