Latest Updates on the Coronavirus Situation

Find alternative healthcare

Updated December 23, 2020 3:24 PM

During this catastrophe, the federal government utterly failed the people they are supposed to serve and the toll has been more horrific even than most American wars.

Our Union, however, has moved mountains to win extraordinary protections and special benefits to assist the workers we represent to get through this emergency. The most important example has been the Union’s success in persuading and compelling a devastated industry to continue to fund healthcare coverage for most of the 40,000 workers we represent (most of whom are laid off) over a period of many additional months.

We have compiled this guide about the many alternative healthcare options that will be available to you should you lose coverage in the upcoming months. Read more...

Can I receive payment for my paid time off to extend my healthcare?

September 25, 2020, 2:46 PM

Before this pandemic, under the long-standing rules of the Industry-Wide Benefit Plan, covered employees were eligible for healthcare if they worked enough hours (functions in the case of banquet servers) or as part of a severance package. Laid off workers were generally not eligible and payment of accrued time off typically did not extend their eligibility for healthcare.

However, to meet this emergency, on August 25th, HTC President Rich Maroko convened a special meeting of the trustees of the Funds and convinced the trustees to amend the plan so that payment of paid time off would extend healthcare coverage. The trustees also approved a temporary plan that allows the workers we represent to maintain partial healthcare coverage. Read more...

Update: NY approved for a total of six weeks of $300 supplemental unemployment benefits

September 21, 2020 6:45 PM

On September 18th, the New York State Department of Labor announced that the state has been approved for three additional weeks of supplemental unemployment benefits provided under the Lost Wages Assistance Program. Eligible New Yorkers will now receive an additional $300 a week in unemployment benefits for a total of six weeks. Read more...

Update: In-Person learning delayed for most NYC Public School students

September 18, 2020 7:09 PM

On September 17, 2020, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that most New York City public schools would delay the start of in-person learning. In-person learning was set to begin on September 21st for all students who are enrolled in blended learning programs. Now, in-person learning will be phased in depending on your child’s grade level and what school they attend. Read more...

NY will issue three weeks of $300 supplemental unemployment benefits

September 12, 2020 3:56 PM

The New York Department of Labor has announced that the state will begin to distribute $300 a week supplemental unemployment benefits (provided under the Lost Wages Assistance Program) the week of September 14th.

Great Job Rich!

September 11, 2020, 8:31 PM

By Former President Peter Ward

I just wanted to take a moment to pay homage to the absolutely marvelous and amazing job our new President, Rich Maroko, has done in almost single-handedly winning an additional three months of health care coverage, and the right to collect severance “bridge payments” for the approximately 28,000 HTC-represented workers covered under the IWA and Division A contracts. Read more...

Union wins three more months of healthcare and structured severance pay for workers from IWA and Division A shops in landmark arbitration

Friday, September 11, 2020 7:31 PM

The arbitrator’s decision requires IWA and Division A employers to pay for an additional three-month extension of healthcare coverage for employees who are still on layoff as a result of the pandemic. Those workers are now guaranteed healthcare through the end of 2020. Most employees from those same IWA and Division A shops (who would be entitled to severance pay in the event the shop permanently closed) will soon be entitled to extra pay each week to supplement their unemployment benefits as a structured payout of severance. Read more…

BREAKING NEWS: HTC President Rich Maroko announces two major victories regarding healthcare and severance pay for employees at IWA and Division A hotels

September 11, 2020 3:57 PM

HTC President Maroko announces that the Union has won two major victories in a landmark arbitration decision that was issued this morning. 

HTC President Rich Maroko explains the news in a new video: click here.

“The Union Difference: How one of America’s strongest locals protects workers in the pandemic” - The American Prospect

September 7, 2020 3:44 PM

The American Prospect pays tribute to our Union’s power, militancy, and resilience during the Coronavirus pandemic. 

“For 40 years, hard times have revealed the weakness of unions, as labor leaders have had to negotiate givebacks rather than raises. But in the case of Local 6, hard times reveal the union’s strength. The master contract includes safety protocols to protect workers against COVID that exceed those of most organizations, like 20 days sick leave for workers with COVID, and that's on top of 45 days of other time off guaranteed in the contract.”

Read the full article from the American Prospect here.

Union negotiates casino re-opening agreement

September 7, 2020 2:50 PM

On September 3rd, 2020, New York Governor Cuomo announced that casinos in the state will be allowed to reopen at 25% capacity beginning Wednesday, September 9th.

In the weeks leading up, HTC President Rich Maroko and the Union’s staff have been in negotiations with the casinos to make sure that those workers who are recalled have adequate safety protections and equipment. We are pleased to announce that we have reached agreements with Resorts World NYC, Resorts World Catskills, Rivers Casino, Empire City Casino, del Lago Resort & Casino, and Saratoga Casino Hotel. These casinos have agreed to sign the Union’s Coronavirus Safety Protocols negotiated with the Hotel Association of New York City in March and June of this year, and to a number of casino-specific safety provisions. Read more...

$300 Supplemental unemployment benefits: what we know

September 2, 2020 11:16 AM

After the Republican-controlled Senate took a summer recess without approving any supplemental unemployment benefits for nearly 30 million Americans who are out of work, President Trump signed an executive order to partially fund additional unemployment benefits through the new “Lost Wages Assistance Program” overseen by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (“FEMA”).

The executive order, which potentially provides up to $400 a week in supplemental unemployment benefits, has caused broad confusion and raised many legal and operational questions. As a result, unemployed workers in New York and New Jersey have yet to receive any supplemental benefits. Read more...

Benefit Funds trustees expand access to pre-paid legal for thousands of workers

August 27, 2020 8:07 PM

On August 25, 2020, HTC President Rich Maroko convened a special meeting of the trustees of the Benefit Funds. President Maroko proposed a temporary change to the Funds that will expand access to Pre-Paid Legal for thousands of workers covered by the IWA and Division A contracts who have been laid off due to the coronavirus crisis. Read more...

Back to school resources for NYC Public School parents

August 26, 2020 12:37 PM

As you know, the academic year for NYC public schools is scheduled to begin on September 16th, 2020. Without a vaccine we know many parents have worries about whether or not to send your children to school, what their education will be like if you don’t, and questions about how to navigate the school system and enrollment virtually. The Union has put together this page for parents of NYC public school students to help you navigate the resources and options available to you.

The Union has set up contacts with the Department of Education to assist our members with questions and various enrollment needs. Read more...

What happens when the emergency funding of our IWA and Division A health funds ends?

August 24, 2020 12:22 PM

As you know, normally, if you are laid off or leave your job, your healthcare coverage ends unless you buy continuing COBRA coverage. Fortunately, during the Coronavirus crisis, our Union has been able to make the employers to pay the cost of continuing to provide health coverage to the tens of thousands of our members who have been laid off.

While your Union is trying to extend benefits even further, there is little question that the additional funding for employees who are not working is going to end before the industry gets completely back on its feet. We want the workers we represent to be prepared for when that happens. Read more...

A Message from Union President Rich Maroko

August 18, 2020 12:11 PM

In his first address to the Union membership, HTC President Rich Maroko provides important updates about recall rights, the Coronavirus Safety Protocol agreement, and the recent healthcare extension. President Maroko lays out his outlook regarding the future of our Union: “I have no doubt that we will face and overcome these challenges with the tenacity and courage, united as we’ve always done. I promise you that I’ll give you everything I have to confronting this crisis, and I’m confident that we will beat this, just as we have prevailed in so many fights against vicious employers, and we will come out a stronger Union because of it.” Watch the video here...

BREAKING NEWS: Extension to healthcare benefits and Coronavirus Safety Protocol

August 15, 2020 10:34 AM

I am pleased to report that, late last night, and after arduous negotiations over the last few days, we were able to finalize an agreement with the Hotel Association that (1) continues healthcare for an additional month for members covered by the IWA and Division A contracts and (2) extends the Coronavirus Safety Protocol Agreement for the duration of this public health crisis. 

Read more from HTC President Rich Maroko...

An update on healthcare negotiations

August 3, 2020 12:53 PM

Many members are understandably anxious about losing their healthcare at the end of August. We are working diligently to negotiate an extension to your healthcare coverage and to extend the Coronavirus safety agreement.

These negotiations have been exceptionally challenging given that the industry is not making any revenue right now and the cost of healthcare is approximately $50 million a month.

We will keep you updated on the status of negotiations. If you haven’t already, please sign up to receive text alerts from the Union. If you have questions, you can contact the Union at (212) 245-8100 and select option #1 or submit a question online.

Republican “HEALS” Act is really the “HURTS Act”

July 31, 2020 12:06 PM

Back in May, the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives passed the HEROES Act, a comprehensive bill that would extend the emergency increase of $600/week in unemployment benefits through January 31, grant nearly $1 trillion dollars in emergency support for local and state governments, fund and expand programs to help working people during this crisis, and shore up the teetering U.S. economy. 

For over two and a half months, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and the Republican-controlled Senate have refused to vote on - or even debate - the HEROES Act, and they have also exhibited no sense of urgency to propose their own bill.

On Monday, July 27th, McConnell finally released a Republican proposal: the “HEALS Act.” The inaptly named bill fails miserably to address the current crisis facing many Americans. Read more...

NYC offers free COVID-19 testing and antibody tests

July 2, 2020 6:25 PM

On June 29, NYC Health + Hospitals began to offer free antibody tests at locations across the five boroughs. The City is also offering free COVID-19 testing to all New York City Residents, whether or not they have had symptoms of the virus. Both tests are available regardless of immigration status or insurance coverage. To read more, click here. 

Stalled HEROES Act would benefit working people

July 2, 2020 12:56 PM

The HEROES Act contains essential relief for working people who have lost income, face evictions and foreclosures, and need protections as they return to work. The bill also extends important protections from the CARES Act, which was passed earlier in March. Our Union is demanding the passage of the HEROES Act as the vast majority of our members have been laid off due to the crisis. The Act contains an extension of the extra $600/week in federal unemployment benefits, which would otherwise expire on July 31, 2020, and is absolutely essential for our members to make ends meet. Read more...