UNITE HERE Local 2 has reached an agreement with San Francisco's leading hotels after a two-year struggle.
So far, 13 CLass A hotels have agreed to a settlement that includes card check neutrality, which means that if a hotel buys up a smaller, or non-unionized hotel, workers at the non-unionized hotel have a right to join the union, too.
This settlement covers 4,200 workers.
UNITE HERE Local 2 is now working on settling with another 30 SF hotels, where contracts of 5,000 workers have expired.
As UNITE HERE Local 2 president Mike Casey put it, " we're not done until all of the hotels are settled."
Casey feels that the hotels that have settled have created a pattern for others to follow."
"It would be unacceptable for a hotel to think it could get some cheaper deal or have a competitive advantage over other hotels," he said of what he sees as a "citywide standard that doesn't create 2nd class citizenship for other hotel workers.
Casey is hopeful that the ovewrwhelming majority of hotels will settle up in next 30-45 days. He notes that for the handful of hotels that are non-unionized but that some day could be bought by a uionized chain, the settlements include a provision that allows their workers to join the union and raise their standards.
"The hotels resisted and said they'd never allow it," says Casey of the card check provision. "It's quite unprecedented. I think the hotels finally decided to make a smart business decision. They realized it was costing them more to fight than to settle with us."
Unite Here Local 2 spokesperson Valerie Lapin also told the Guardian that settlements had been reached in New York, Chicago and Monterey and that others are still being negotiated in a number of cities, including San Francisco, Hawaii and a couple of hotels in Monterey that aren't covered by the settlement that's already been reached in that city.
While the details of each settlement varies, Lapin said that overall the settlements are good.
"The wages and benefits are very good, which is a reflection of how prosperous the industry is, and the settlements guarantee the rights of workers to join a union," she said.
In additFor more details of the settlement, check out www.unitehere2.org.