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Sat Sep 15, 2018, 07:56 AM

Thousands of Chicago Workers Are Out On the First Citywide Hotel Strike In Over a Century


BY JEFF SCHUHRKE

In one of the city’s largest work stoppages in years, thousands of unionized hotel workers across downtown Chicago are on strike to win a new contract.

Since Sept. 7, over 6,000 housekeepers, cooks, doormen, bartenders, servers and dishwashers with UNITE HERE Local 1 have been picketing outside 26 hotels, including the Palmer House Hilton, Hyatt Regency and Sheraton Grand. Spirits are high as striking workers and supporters maintain loud and energetic picket lines at all hours of the day.

Contracts at 30 downtown hotels—each negotiated separately—expired on August 31. The strike was authorized two weeks earlier by 97 percent of voting union members.

In addition to raises, safer workloads, increased sick days and improved job security, workers are fighting to win year-round health insurance. Hotel workers with lower seniority are typically laid off during the winter months, when business gets slow, and lose their healthcare until they are rehired in the spring.

FULL story: http://inthesetimes.com/working/entry/21433/thousands_of_chicago_workers_are_out_on_the_first_citywide_hotel_strike_in

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