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Organized Labor

Striking workers approve new contract with two more hotels

Striking hotel workers hold a rally in Ogden Plaza Park Thursday. | Sam Charles/Sun-Times

Striking hotel workers hold a rally in Ogden Plaza Park Thursday. | Sam Charles/Sun-Times

Workers at two more downtown hotels have ratified a new contract, bringing the number of hotels affected by the labor strike down to 17.

Unite Here Local 1 — which represents the roughly 6,000 housekeepers, servers, cooks and doormen who hit the picket line outside 26 upscale Chicago hotels on Sept. 7 — announced the agreement with Hotel Allegro and Hotel Palomar on Saturday afternoon.

On Thursday, workers at seven downtown Marriott hotels ratified a new deal as well following two weeks on the picket line.

Union officials have not released details on either contract. Mayor Rahm Emanuel indicated in a statement following the Marriott agreement that workers gained year-round health care, which was a main sticking point in negotiations.

Under the workers’ previous contract, which expired at the end of August, they could be classified as full-time could but still lose benefits if they were laid off during the slow winter months. Workers have also sought wage increases, heightened job security, pensions and sick days.

Representatives for Unite Here Local 1 and the hotels, which are part of the Kimpton chain, were not immediately available for comment.

Most of the affected hotels have stayed open as the work stoppage hit during the tail end of Chicago’s busy summer travel season. About 2,000 of the strikers marched through the Loop last week.

Here’s where hotel employees have agreed to return to work:
Hotel Allegro
Hotel Palomar
W City Center
W Lakeshore
Westin Michigan Avenue
Westin River North
JW Marriott
Hotel Blake

Here’s where the strike continues:
Ambassador Chicago
Cambria Magnificent Mile
Crowne Plaza Hotel Chicago-Metro
Doubletree Chicago Magnificent Mile
Drake Hotel
Hampton Inn/Homewood Suites Magnificent Mile
Hilton Chicago
Holiday Inn Mart Plaza
Hyatt Regency Chicago
Hyatt Regency McCormick Place
Inn of Chicago
Kinzie Hotel
Millennium Knickerbocker
Palmer House
Ritz-Carlton Chicago
Warwick Allerton
Wyndham Grand

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

Disclosure notice: Some labor organizations have ownership stakes in Sun-Times Media, including the Chicago Federation of Labor. Unite Here Local 1 is affiliated with the CFL.