Summer 2021

COVER STORY

How Hotel Workers Got Eligibility and Access to the COVID-19 Vaccine

In early March, our Union secured two major developments related to the COVID-19 vaccine. First, hotel workers became eligible to receive the vaccine in New York and in New Jersey. Second, our Union was able to begin efficiently distributing the vaccine to our New York City members through our own health centers. Read more...

FEATURES

A Report from HTC President Rich Maroko

By HTC President Rich Maroko

As I write to you, over 295 million doses of the vaccine have been administered to Americans. As a result, our region is slowly coming back to life and with it, the tourism industry is gradually reopening. Dozens of union hotels have announced soft reopenings this summer and over 60% of our members in the casinos have already been recalled.

How Senator Chuck Schumer Saved Our Health Centers

The American Rescue Plan was the first major test for New York Senator Chuck Schumer in his new role as Senate Majority Leader and not only did he manage to deliver the most comprehensive recovery package in the history of our nation – he did it against all odds. The result is a bill that will fund a national vaccination effort, salvage our battered economy, and most importantly, will provide enormous benefits to millions of Americans who lost their jobs and health insurance because of the economic devastation wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more....

High Stakes: New York City’s 2021 Election

This year, the balance of power is up for grabs. New York City will elect a brand new mayor, new Borough Presidents, and the entire City Council. The stakes are high for our Union and our members. Read more...

ORGANIZING STORIES

Marriott Marquis and Marriott Downtown Workers Seize a Second Chance To Join HTC

Marriott has waged a very sophisticated and expensive avoidance strategy at its two non-union hotels in New York City: the New York Marriott Marquis, its flagship hotel in Times Square, and the Marriott Downtown, located on Albany and West Streets in lower Manhattan. The cornerstone of Marriott’s union avoidance strategy was doing a masterful job tricking the workers into believing that they had the same rights and job protections that HTC members have under our contract. Read more...

COVID-19

Union Health Centers Distribute Over 12,000 Vaccines! Sign Up Now to Get Yours!

The Union’s health centers have already administered over 12,000 shots to HTC members, their families, and union staff. The vaccines will not only protect thousands of our members and their families against this terrible virus, but these vaccines are key to bringing an end to this crisis, reviving tourism in New York City, and getting our members back to work! Read more...

A Plea to my Union Brothers and Sisters: COVID-19 Almost Killed Me and I am Still Suffering. So Please, Get Vaccinated!

In March 2020, I became sick with the Coronavirus and almost died. I write to my fellow members with the hope that my personal experience can serve as a reminder of the danger the Coronavirus poses, and the urgency of getting vaccinated. Read more...

HEALTH

Q&A: Free COBRA coverage

Our Union has put together this article to answer the most common questions about free COBRA. Read more...

Senator Schumer Joins HTC to Celebrate the Partial Reopening of the Brooklyn Health Center!

On Monday, May 10, our Union celebrated the partial re-opening of the Brooklyn health center alongside New York Senator and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

A long time friend and ally of our Union, Senator Schumer successfully negotiated 100%, fully subsidized COBRA as part of the American Rescue Plan earlier this year. The federal legislation has allowed thousands of our laid off members to get their free family healthcare back through September 30th. Read more...

HOTEL & GAMING INDUSTRY

NY State Budget Includes Tax Relief for Upstate Casinos, Protecting Thousands of Union Workers

This spring, our Union urged the New York State Senate and Assembly to adopt several measures to protect casino workers as part of the 2021 State Budget. Read more...


HTC Celebrates Mayor de Blasio’s Summer Tax Relief for NYC Hotels

On May 19th, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed an Executive Order putting a pause on the City’s hotel room occupancy tax this summer. The Executive Order is intended to accelerate the economic recovery of the hotel industry and encourage hotels to reopen and recall hotel workers. Guests will not have to pay the 5.875% occupancy tax from June 1 through August 31, effectively lowering the cost of rooms this summer and hopefully, driving up occupancy. Read More...

POLITICS & POWER

NYC Introduces Ranked Choice Voting. How Does It Work?

New York City’s primary election will look a little different this year. The City is introducing ranked choice voting, a system that lets voters rank candidates in order of preference. Instead of voting for only one candidate on the ballot, you will be able to rank up to five preferred candidates. Read more...

NYC Unions Combine Forces to Elect Pro-Worker Majority to City Council in 2021

This year, New Yorkers will elect the next City Council, borough presidents, and mayor. These local elected officials will be in charge of New York City’s economic recovery from COVID-19. Many of these races are competitive and it’s critical that we elect individuals who will prioritize the problems faced by New York City workers in the months and years ahead. As part of our efforts, our Union has joined forces with four other powerful local unions – SEIU 32BJ, Communications Workers of America District 1, District Council 37, and the New York State Nurses Association – to elect a slate of pro-worker and pro-union candidates. Read more...

HTC Backs 46 Candidates in NYC Elections

This year, New Yorkers will elect the next City Council, mayor, and borough presidents. These local elected officials will be in charge of New York City’s economic recovery from COVID-19. Many of these races are extremely competitive and it is critical that we elect those individuals who will protect workers and prioritize fixing the problems faced by everyday New Yorkers in the months and years ahead. Read more...

Eric Adams, Our Choice for NYC Mayor

By HTC President Rich Maroko

In February, our Union endorsed Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams in his campaign for New York City mayor.

This election may be the most consequential one we’ve faced since we started our Union’s political program 15 years ago. The leaders we elect this year will decide how to rebuild our City’s economy, drive tourism, and reopen the hotel industry after the COVID-19 pandemic. They will have a huge say over how working people – and our members – are treated during the economic recovery. If that weren’t reason enough to take these elections seriously, in all likelihood, whoever wins the mayoral election will also be elected to a second term. That means that the mayor who is elected this year will likely be in power when our industry-wide contract expires in 2026. Read more...

Corey Johnson, Our Choice for NYC Comptroller

Among elected officials, New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson has been one of staunchest allies of working people and our Union throughout his career in the City Council. His loyalty to the members of our Union and dedication to serving working people makes him the obvious choice for NYC Comptroller. Read more...

Mark Levine, a Pro-Union Candidate for Manhattan Borough President

Our Union is happy to announce our support of Mark Levine for Manhattan Borough President. Throughout his career he has proven himself to be an unwavering advocate for the workers of New York. Read more...

HTC Endorses Queens Borough President Donovan Richards for Re-Election!

On Tuesday, May 4th, HTC President Rich Maroko joined Queens Borough President Donovan Richards to announce our Union’s endorsement of Richards’ re-election campaign.

President Maroko outlined for a crowd of HTC members why Donovan Richards is the right choice for working people in Queens, “Donovan has been one of the City’s fiercest advocates of workers, especially hospitality workers. As a city council member, he was a huge champion of HTC and its members.” Read more...

Union Endorses Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop

HTC has endorsed Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop for the election that will take place this coming November. HTC has nearly 1,000 members who reside in Jersey City, meaning that the election will have an impact on our Union in more ways than one. Read more...

SCHOLARSHIPS

Union's Annual Writing Competition Is Here! Offering Cash Prizes to High School Students

For 18 years now, the Union's annual writing contest has offered high school students the opportunity to show their creative talents and have a chance to win cash prizes at the same time. In the competition's history, over 1,000 students have submitted entries and almost $200,000 in prizes have been awarded to the children of our members. This year is no exception, with the competition offering cash awards in two categories: Essay and Fiction/Non-Fiction Narrative. Read more....

Mario Gabelli Donates Additional $100,000 for This Year's Scholarships!

In February, Mario Gabelli contacted our Union to ask how the union's scholarship program was doing in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. In response, Mr. Gabelli donated an additional $100,000 for this year's awards. To date, he has contributed a total of $451,000 to HTC's scholarship fund! Read more...

TRIBUTES

Tributes

During this difficult time when we can not come together and grieve in person and provide each other comfort, we wanted to take the space to remember and celebrate the lives of Union members who have passed.