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UPDATE . . .
On Tuesday September 12th, after 15 days of intense, almost round-the-clock negotiations, our Negotiating Committee reached a “Tentative Agreement” with the Multi-Employer Group.  Our Committee will be recommending a Yes vote when we meet to ratify the contract.  Details of the agreement will be forthcoming, but highlights include:   

  • Protection of our Health & Welfare Fund: No change in eligibility or co-payments for anyone.  Drug benefits are improved from the current $2000 per year cap to $4000 per year.  Dependents will now be covered under the Vision Care plan.
  • Pension improvements: We increased the pension benefit—making the $30 per-year-of service credit permanent (That is for every year you work in the hotel, when you retire you get 30 x # of years worked every month). In addition, we created a new $35 “window benefit” for any members who have retired or will retire between April 2004 and December 2009. 
  • Room Cleaner workload reductions: Room cleaners currently clean 14 rooms a day.  When 6 of those 14 are checkouts they now only have to clean 13 rooms, 9 checkouts—drop 2 rooms in all thirteen hotels.  The MEG agreed to some additional workload adjustments as well.  This is especially important given the increase in injuries that Room Cleaners face due to added pillows, sheets, duvets, bigger beds and more amenities.
  •  Wage increases: Non-Tipped workers’ wages will increase $1.00 per hour on 8/14/06 and $1.00 in ’07, and $1.00 in ’08. Tipped workers will get a raise of $0.50 per hour on 8/14/06, and $.50 in ’07, and $.50 in ’08. Banquet Barbacks: $.35 on 8/14/06 and $.35 more in ’07 and $.35 in ’08.  Banquet Servers/ Bartenders/ Bussers: $.50 raise in ’08 and beginning immediately, a healthy increase in banquet gratuities.   
  •  Back Pay: Non-tipped workers will receive $.60 per hour for each hour worked from 8/14/04 through 8/13/06. Tipped workers will receive $.50 per hour for each hour worked from 8/14/04 through 8/13/06.
  • Card Check/Neutrality: We achieved a great agreement allowing workers to organize without interference from management when new hotels are built in San Francisco or San Mateo counties.  Stronger job security (Successorship) protection, improved workload rights, better immigration and hiring contract language.
  • Term: Our contract expires on August 14th, 2009.

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Clergy-Types . . .

As you may or may not know, the Hotel Workers/Union 2 labor struggle continues here in San Francisco.  This has been a struggle over fair labor practices and wages that has been going on for over two years.  The workers have been dedicated to NOT give in to corporate power practices to ensure their ability to receive fair wages, health care, etc.

One meaningful part of the organizing is that they have been intentional about connecting with the faith community.  I have been marginally involved by having some folks come to speak at MBCC, signing letters and attended as many meetings as possible.  Like most of us, I wish I could do more.

But wait there is more you can do!   If you have been yearning for an easy, yet meaningful, way to show some solidarity, take a look at this PLEDGE LETTER, sign it and send it to the Union.  You do not need to be from San Francisco, as clergy solidarity is important even beyond our borders.  On Thursday the 14th they will be holding a press conference at noon on the 14th, to present these letters to the hotel corporations.   

To Download a PFD copy of the pledge [CLICK HERE]
You can fax your signed letter to 415.864.4185, ATTN: Kelly Dugan.  If you wish to eMail her to add your name to the list you can do so and then mail the form to: Kelly Dugan @ Unite HERE Local 2 209 Golden Gate San Francisco CA 94102.

For more information you can contact me or Kelly Dugan, Union Organizer Extraordinaire.  You can also check out www.hotelworkersrising.org  to get more info, resources, etc.

Again, I hope that you will take the time to show your solidarity with so many who are struggle to make a decent living here in SF.

Download (PDF) Pledge Here!

An of course feel free to pass this along to whomever you think might be interested!

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