Delegates support picketing hotel workers
Unite Here members reach “historic” agreement
AS DAY TWO of the LEAP conference general sessions got underway April 24, delegates learned that union workers employed by the Hyatt Regency had begun an informational picket in front of the hotel. The picket was a shock to the Brotherhood. The hotel had been booked three years in advance, and we had not been informed that Unite Here Local 25 members were working without a contract at D.C.-area hotels.
International President Newton B. Jones quickly took charge of the situation, personally meeting with the picketers and inviting Local 25 president John Boardman to address the LEAP conference. Pres. Boardman accepted the invitation and used the opportunity to inform our delegates about the issues facing his members.
Boilermakers gave Boardman a standing ovation, and some delegates and staff joined the picket line. The picketers accommodated our LEAP conference by ending their action prior to the start of our congressional reception so legislators could enter the hotel.
The situation had a happy ending. Soon after the LEAP conference concluded, Unite Here reached an agreement that the union described as “the best in Local 25’s history.” Ratified by more than 99 percent of voting members, the contract covers workers at 21 hotels.