Hotel Employees’ Union Rejects New Contract Proposal by Employers, Citing Lack of Cap on Employee Health Care Contributions
Negotiators for 14 San Francisco hotels on Thursday extended to union officials a contract proposal that would keep employee contributions to health care benefits at the current $10 per month but would not guarantee a cap on employee contributions if costs increased beyond 10% to 12% annually, the San Francisco Chronicle reports (Raine, San Francisco Chronicle, 12/17).
The contract negotiations between the hotels and the union Unite Here Local 2, which represents the roughly 4,000 workers involved in the dispute, follow an eight-week labor lockout by the hotels in response to a worker strike.
Hotel employees on Sept. 29 began striking because they said contract negotiations with employers had stalled. Workers at four hotels in San Francisco on Oct. 13 ended their two-week strike, but the hotels -- and 10 others where employees did not strike -- said they would maintain an employee lockout until they reached a contract settlement. Hotel management and the union in November agreed to end the lockout and return to work (California Healthline, 11/23).
Under the new four-year contract proposal, the hotels said they would cover increases in health care costs up to 10% in the first year of the contract and 12% in the second, third and fourth years.
Any increases above 10% to 12% would result in a decrease in benefits or would require workers to make monthly copayments, according to Mike Casey, president of the employees' union.
Casey said that the hotels' proposal represented "some movement on their part, but it is not enough to get us close to an agreement."
Matt Adams, managing director of the Hyatt Regency Hotel and vice president of the hotels' bargaining unit, said, "We want a contract in this cooling-offer period, and the union must step up and show good faith and bring this to a resolution. The idea of dragging this on is unacceptable. The proposal is a very good deal, and the union should take notice and think of its members' needs."
The two sides will not meet again until Jan. 6. The union has agreed not to strike until Jan. 23, and the hotels have said they would not impose another lockout (San Francisco Chronicle, 12/17).