Hotel Voice

Book Salutes Plaza Employees and HTC’s Historic Campaign to Save the Hotel

Author Andrew Solomon calls the book "compulsively readable," and Hotel Voice wholeheartedly agrees!

The book is entitled, The Plaza: The Secret Life of America's Most Famous Hotel. Written by New York Times contributor Julie Satow, it provides not only a fascinating history of the Plaza Hotel but also a chapter on our union's unforgettable effort in 2005 to stop the property from converting totally to condominiums.

TWA Hotel Opens at JFK

The old TWA terminal at JFK International Airport, which sat vacant for more than 20 years, opened in May as the TWA Hotel. HTC President Peter Ward was invited for the ribbon-cutting ceremony, where he joined the hotel’s developers and elected officials in celebrating the hotel’s opening.

$408,000 in Scholarships Awarded to 34 High School Seniors

It was a day of celebration on June 21, when 34 children of our union’s members were awarded a total of $408,000 in college scholarships. It was by far the largest amount of money ever awarded in a single year since the program’s inception in 1987. To date, the scholarship program has now awarded a total of $8,768,000 in grants to 1,080 students. It is money well spent. Past surveys have revealed that the program has had an outstanding record of success — virtually all previous recipients finished college or graduate school or are still pursuing their education.

Union Endorses Mayor de Blasio for President

It was standing room only at the union hall on June 5, when the Hotel Trades Council endorsed New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio for U.S. President.

The full house was loud and enthusiastic before Mayor de Blasio even arrived, and the fervor grew stronger when HTC President Peter Ward introduced him.

Seniors’ Days 2019: Celebrating Our Retirees

Seniors’ Days 2019 was greatly appreciated by the hundreds of retired members (and those nearing retirement) who participated in the event.

As reported in the past, Seniors’ Days provides specific attention to retired members, both as a whole and as individuals. But it has also become a great resource in retirement preparation for members over age 55 who are still working. Those that participated in the event in May visited their respective Health Centers without any appointment being necessary, giving each of them the opportunity to speak personally with doctors, dentists and other health care and lifestyle professionals.

New and Improved Member Services Area at Benefits Fund Office

The Benefit Funds Office continues to prove its dedication to members of our union and their families by improving benefits and services. The latest example of this can be found in its new and improved Member Service Area located on the second floor of 305 West 44th Street.

Richard Maroko Receives Peggy Browning Award

Hotel Trades Council Recording Secretary and General Counsel Richard Maroko has been named as a recipient of the Peggy Browning Award. In receiving this honor, which is named after the late Margaret Browning, a prominent labor attorney and member of the National Labor Relations Board, Maroko joins other giants of labor including Baseball Players Association Founder Marvin Miller, former NYS Governor Basil Patterson, former NYS AFL-CIO President Dennis Hughes, and OPEIU President and HTC Vice President Richard Lanigan.

With Michael Goodwin’s Retirement, HTC Executive Board Is Realigned

With the retirement of Michael Goodwin as Secretary-Treasurer of the Hotel Trades Council there has been a realignment of the union’s Executive Board. Local 94 Business Manager Kuba Brown was named as Goodwin’s replacement as HTC Secretary-Treasurer, and Local 153 Business Manager Richard Lanigan was named as an HTC Vice President.

More Criminal Justice Reform Measures Enacted in New York

Hotel Voice — April 30, 2019

"As many of you know from an editorial we published in Hotel Voice in 2017, our union has been working closely with the Innocence Project on criminal justice reform. It is my belief that this is the single most important civil rights issue in the United States, followed closely by immigration reform. The unfair incarceration of poor, disadvantaged and working class people who disproportionately are Black and Latino is a stain on the soul of our country."

-HTC President Peter Ward

Yonkers Raceway Workers Hit the Jackpot!

Yonkers Raceway workers got great news in March, when they received their first HTC contract — a deal that will double their wages in a year, bring strong job protections, provide a pension, ensure seniority and do so much more. Yonkers Raceway workers were members of Local 100, which graciously transferred their jurisdiction to the Hotel Trades Council out of recognition of the fact that HTC has become the preeminent union in the gaming industry in New York.

Healthy Lifestyles Week Is a Big Success

Members and their families had a great opportunity the last week in March to improve their health by attending Healthy Lifestyles, a health and wellness event that was held at the Health and Dental Centers. Those that attended received useful tips on living happier, healthier and longer lives, and in many cases received quick tests and/or screening for various health issues. Everyone also received a gift bag with items related to the event!

Pension Increase for 27,000 HTC Members on January 1st!

In fact, we are sure that this will be a very happy new year for many Hotel Trades Council members who are thinking of retiring in the near future, as well as for all others who are thinking more long term. The Board of Trustees of the Industry-Wide Agreement Pension Fund has voted to enact what is by far the largest pension increase in the 80-year history of our union. This is particularly impressive when one realizes the HTC pension is already the largest pension anywhere in the hotel industry.

New Health Center to Be Built in Queens!

When our union was negotiating the 2012 contract we secured agreement from the Hotel Association to build a new Health Center in Brooklyn. But in addition to that we also secured a strong financial commitment to renovate and expand the Queens Health Center. Since then, things have changed. Yes, the new Brooklyn Health Center was built and, quite frankly, it has been praised by people from all corners of the healthcare industry. But we are not renovating the current Queens Health Center. Instead, we are happy to report, we are going to be building an entire new facility right next door to the current Queens Health Center. When completed, it will be as ambitious in scope, as accommodating in space, as dramatic in design, and as advanced in service and treatment as the new Brooklyn Health Center, and it will even incorporate some new ideas.

Manhattan Affordable Housing Opportunity

Our friends at the Actors Fund have told us about 102 brand new, rent stabilized apartments at 540 West 53rd Street for which many Hotel Trades Council members may be eligible. The apartments will be awarded via a lottery.

The rents for these affordable studios, one, two and three-bedroom units will range from $1,091 to $3,270 per month.

The Actors Fund of America is the world’s oldest theatrical charity. It has been a long-time friend of the Hotel Trades Council, and we are grateful to them for telling us about these newly-constructed, rent stabilized, affordable apartments in Manhattan’s Hells’ Kitchen neighborhood.

HTC and the Little Rock Nine

“This year marks the 60th anniversary of our union honoring the Little Rock Nine — a group of incredibly brave students who were the center of the battle to desegregate Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, and who even today serve as an enduring symbol of the courage and resolve of the civil rights movement and the fight for equality.”

Those were the words of Hotel Trades Council President Peter Ward, on Tuesday, June 12, when the ties between our union and the Little Rock Nine officially spanned 60 years at a luncheon held in Gallagher’s Steak House.

Members Celebrate the GRIWA Ratification

Not even monsoon-like rains could keep hundreds of members from packing a room at the Newark Hilton Penn Station on April 16 to celebrate the ratification of the new Greater Regional Industry Wide Contract, also known as the GRIWA.

It was a boisterous crowd and everyone was in a celebratory mood.

The meeting was opened by HTC  General Counsel and Executive Vice President Richard Maroko, who explained in the simplest terms what the contract meant.

Retired Members Applaud Seniors’ Days 2018

When retired members of our union reach age 65 they can choose to keep using our Health Centers for their medical care by assigning their Medicare Part B to the benefit funds. Members praised the care they receive and had appreciative compliments about the Seniors’ Days health awareness event.

Del Lago Casino Workers Win Contract

HTC has won a contract for the nearly 1,000 union-represented employees at del Lago Resort and Casino in Waterloo, NY. The casino signed onto the Greater Regional Industry Wide Agreement, or GRIWA, which is the HTC contract for the region. At the ratification, union representatives, including, lawyers, business agents and organizers, met with workers to review the contract in detail, in order to allow employees to cast their vote in an informed and democratic manner.       

Healthy Lifestyles Week Is March 26-30

Members and their families have a great opportunity to improve their health by attending Healthy Lifestyles, a health and wellness event that will be held at the Health and Dental Centers from March 26 until March 30. Those who attend will receive useful tips on living happier, healthier and longer lives, and in many cases receive quick tests and/or screening for various health issues.

The Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at the Brooklyn Health Center

We present the remarks of Hotel Trades Council President Peter Ward, Hotel Association President Vijay Dandapani, Benefit Funds Chief Executive Officer Dr. Robert Greenspan, Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio.