This Week's Hotel Voice

HTC wins contract for Rainbow Room employees

Hotel Voice - September 28, 2017 Share/Save/Bookmark

After a tough, long-lasting negotiation lead by Executive VP and General Counsel, Richard Maroko, the Union won a contract for the employees of the Rainbow Room restaurant. On July 26th, 2017, the bargaining unit employees unanimously voted for the Union contract. Union employees received an immediate and retroactive wage increase of an average of $2.65 per hour and guaranteed hourly wage increases each year through April 2026, when the contract is set to expires. Union employees will receive an average increase of $8.50 per hour over the life of the contract. Some other notable benefits of the contract are: free family healthcare, much improved overtime rights, an employer funded 401(K) plan, and many more PTO entitlements, i.e., sick, vacation, holiday. The contract also provides for safer working conditions, protection against unjust discipline and equally important, job protections in the event of changes in ownership and/or management. HTC Grievance Manager, Joe Messineo, who was on the negotiating team, stated, “This contract is a win win for everyone.  The restaurant has a professional staff providing excellent service and the employees are receiving the wages and protections they deserve.”

History of the Rainbow Room

The iconic Rainbow Room first opened in 1934 as one of New York’s premier dining clubs that was so high in the sky it kissed the clouds. The treatment of workers, however, was not always so noteworthy. Management egregiously laid off union supporters, took a portion of the employees' tips, and reduced health benefits. In 1992, the employees chose Local 6 as their representative. After stalled negotiations with the B.E. Rock Corporation, the owners and operators of the Rainbow Room at the time, the employees went out on strike. The Union came out victorious in that strike, winning a contract. The Cipriani family took over operations of the restaurant on New Year's Day in 1999 and refused to rehire the union workers. The union was forced to have a second strike at the Rainbow Room and was again victorious, winning another contract.

The Ciprianis closed the Rainbow Room for extensive renovations in June of 2009. After a five-year hiatus, Tishman-Speyer reopened the Rainbow Room in 2014 with the same iconic dance floor and the same spectacular views. They remain the operators of the Rainbow Room and the restaurant looks better then ever. "HTC was there for the employees then, as it continues to be now and Im proud to have been able to negotiate a contract that allows the union employees of the Rainbow Room to support their families”, said HTC Vice President, Richard Maroko.