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Latest contracts bring Chicago hotel workers’ strike down to four hotels

Hotel workers from Unite Here Local 1 protest outside the Hyatt Regency Friday September 7, 2018 in Chicago.| Justin Jackson/ Sun-Times

Hotel workers from Unite Here Local 1 protest outside the Hyatt Regency Friday September 7, 2018 in Chicago.| Justin Jackson/ Sun-Times

Striking hotel workers from two Chicago Hyatt locations and the Holiday Inn Mart Plaza agreed to new contracts on Thursday, bringing the number of downtown hotels affected by the monthlong work stoppage down to four.

“After four weeks on strike, I’m proud to have a contract that guarantees healthcare in the wintertime,” Hyatt Regency Chicago employee Demetrius Jackson said in a statement provided by Unite Here Local 1. “The workers of the hotels still on strike deserve the same.”

Year-round health care has been the union’s main sticking point in negotiations since their previous contracts expired at the end of August.

Last weekend, Hyatt’s labor relations vice president Michael D’Angelo accused Unite Here representatives of “moving backwards in their positions” as negotiations hit a wall, but he lauded the new five-year deal on Thursday.

“Hyatt remained committed to arrive at terms that were fair for all parties,” D’Angelo said. “Under the new collective bargaining agreement, Hyatt continues to offer our colleagues competitive wages and benefits, including comprehensive healthcare coverage with enhanced benefits, eligible winter month coverage and no premium increases.

Unite Here has now reached contracts with 22 of the 26 hotels where close to 6,000 housekeepers, doormen, cooks and servers hit the picket line the week of Sept 7, right at the tail end of Chicago’s busy summer travel season.

Workers are also seeking wage increases and heightened job security, among other benefits.

Here’s where the strike continues:
Cambria Magnificent Mile
Crowne Plaza Hotel Chicago-Metro
Hampton Inn/Homewood Suites Magnificent Mile
Kinzie Hotel

Here’s where hotel employees have reached new contracts to return to work:
Hotel Allegro
Hotel Palomar
W City Center
W Lakeshore
Westin Michigan Avenue
Westin River North
JW Marriott
Hotel Blake
Millennium Knickerbocker
Ritz-Carlton Chicago
Drake Hotel
Hilton Chicago
Palmer House
Doubletree Chicago Magnificent Mile
Ambassador Chicago
Hyatt Regency Chicago
Hyatt Regency McCormick Place
Inn of Chicago
Warwick Allerton
Wyndham Grand
Holiday Inn Mart Plaza

Here’s where the union says there “could be a strike at any time”:
Fairmont Chicago
Hotel Raffaello
Tremont Chicago Hotel at Magnificent Mile

Disclosure notice: Some labor organizations have ownership stakes in Sun-Times Media, including Service Employees International Union, Local No. 1.