It might still be mired in a bitter dispute over health care coverage for its members at Disneyland, but UNITE HERE Local 11 is celebrating a separate victory today: the successful negotiation of a three-year contract with the Anaheim Hilton, which employs 700 members of the union.
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According to a union press release issued today, the new contract will provide hourly raises, diversity language and quality health care for the hotel's employees. Specifically, it provides for "a $.40 raise in 2011 and $.60 raise in 2012 for all non-tipped workers," the release states. "Tipped employees in banquets and in-room dining won a signing bonus and greater share of the hotel's service charge. The bell desk employees won increases in delivery fees and more money when guests store baggage, increasing their take-home pay."
"We are very happy to have settled such a great contract," proclaims Adrianna de Martinez, an Anaheim Hilton housekeeper. "We are grateful to management for understanding our needs and respecting us enough to agree to a deal that is fair to both sides."
The biggest victory for the union: increased employer contributions to the workers' health plan, thus insuring that the low-wage employees can continue to enjoy family medical and dental care. The union also won language requiring the Hilton to "boost its efforts to hire a diverse workforce, especially African Americans." Finally, the contract will create a labor/management committee that will meet several times a year with the goal of creating "a positive relationship between workers and supervisors."
The unionized Hilton workers are expected to ratify the new contract next week.