Hilton Hotel, Unions Reach Agreement

CHICAGO (STMW) — UNITE HERE Local 1 and Hilton Worldwide have reached a labor agreement in Chicago covering 1,600 workers at the Drake, Palmer House Hilton, Chicago Hilton and Hilton O’Hare, the union announced Monday.

The agreement preserves pension and health-care benefits, and includes a wage increase, improved job-stability terms and reduced workloads for housekeeping staff. A housekeeper in Chicago now making $14.60 an hour will make $16.40 an hour by the time the contract expires in August 2013, for example, said Annemarie Strassel, Local 1 spokeswoman.

The union had been without a contract since August 2009, and had held protests in front of select hotels.

Claudia Virto, a housekeeping employee at the Chicago Hilton and Towers, said she is pleased by the contract terms. She said that the agreement to maintain existing housekeepers’ workloads will prevent long-time workers who were moved from laundry to housekeeping from losing their jobs.

“As a single mother of three, I am really glad we have a contract that maintains our benefits, including being able to see a doctor when our rapid work causes an injury,” said Virto, a Cicero resident whose children are ages 6, 8 and 10.

Strassel said the agreement “maintains strong middle-class standards for jobs, wages and benefits that will help the workers climb out of the recession.”

A Hilton spokesman was not immediately available to comment.

Local 1, which represents 8,000 hotel workers in the Chicago region, is still negotiating with Hyatt and Starwood hotels.

–Chicago Sun-Times, via the Sun-Times Media Wire

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2011. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

  • Jim

    It’s good to know that a hotel housekeeping job makes more than daycare/preschool teachers. Glad to see unions at work in Illinois.

    • KE

      Not that the housekeeping wages are so high — and all the benefits that they still get — NO MORE TIPPING!!!

  • top designer

    more proof that unions are not for the good of the people. Stay in hotels that are not unionized and your rates will be lower. Service will be equal or better. Stay away from anything unionized if possibleUnions are below defense lawyers on the food chain.

  • FU unions

    Why would a housekeeper have 3 kids?

  • chicago

    can’t believe that some people believe that $16.00 per hour by 2013, is to much money.

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