Hilton Irvine Hotel Workers Win Raises and Other Goodies in First-Ever Contract

Bellmen, bartenders and housekeepers at the Hilton Irvine/John Wayne Airport won raises, a $400 employee bonus and free, full family healthcare under their first-ever, just-ratified contract, UNITE HERE Local 11 announced today.

“Finally, we've won the respect and benefits we deserve,” Manuel Salazar, a cook who has worked at the Hilton Irvine for 10 years, says in a union statement.

Over the next three years, hourly, non-tipped workers will receive a raise of $2.30 an hour. Housekeepers also won improved working conditions and tipped employees won an increased share of the hotel's service charge, as well as improved vacation and sick pay, Local 11 disclosed.

The healthcare benefits are expected to be fully in place by the end of the contract.

“This is a huge victory, setting a new standard for hotel workers in Irvine,” Ada Briceno, secretary-treasurer of UNITE HERE Local 11 says in the statement. “We have demonstrated that with cooperation and mutual respect, workers and management can both win.”

The 292-room hotel, which employs about 150 workers, is owned by Blackstone Group and managed by Interstate Hotels and Resorts.

UNITE HERE Local 11 is still embroiled in labor disputes with HEI, the equity group that owns the Long Beach Hilton, and Disney, which owns several hotels in the Anaheim resort district.

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