Workers at the TWA Hotel Vote 128 to 0 to Ratify First Union Contract

July 15, 2020 7:18 PM

On June 17th, 2020, workers at the TWA Hotel unanimously voted to ratify their first union contract by a resounding 128 YES to 0 NO. The contract victory comes less than one year after TWA workers first won HTC representation through a card check neutrality agreement—an agreement that made sure the workers at TWA could choose to join our Union easily and without fear. Now, the TWA Hotel is signed onto the Union’s Industry Wide Agreement (“IWA”), the master contract that HTC members have fought to defend and improve over the past 80 years. The new contract includes immediate wage increases averaging $5.10/hour, free family health benefits, safety protections during the Coronavirus, and a long list of additional rights. Read more...

College Scholarships Awarded to 22 High School Seniors

July 7, 2020 3:17 PM

There haven't been many good news items in 2020, with the COVID-19 crisis leaving so many of our union's members out of work, but the annual scholarship awards for this year can give all of us hope for the future. A total of $264,000 has been awarded to 22 promising students who are children of our union's members. Congratulations to these scholars and to their parents!

HTC Pres. Peter Ward on Our Union’s Efforts in the NY Primary

June 25 2020 6:41 PM

Tuesday’s primary election in New York was one of the most unusual elections many of us have experienced in our lifetimes, and I’m proud to report that our Union yet again played an outsized role in some of the most important races that were held.

The coronavirus pandemic has been, without a doubt, the most difficult challenge our union and its members have ever faced. The Union’s leadership and staff have risen to this challenge by identifying and making every possible effort we can take to address the hardships our members face. But, we also haven’t lost sight of the external world, where elections and legislative activity have the potential to impact us for years to come. Read more...

Governor Cuomo Signs "Say Their Name" Reform Agenda and Issues Executive Order on Police Accountability

June 19, 2020 5:57 PM

In response to ongoing state-wide protests and marches, Governor Cuomo signed the ‘Say Their Name’ Reform agenda into law on June 12, 2020. HTC had previously endorsed these measures. The new laws include reforms in policing and criminal justice: a repeal and reform of section 50-a of the New York State Civil Rights Law, allowing disciplinary records of police to be released to the public in cases of misconduct, a statewide ban on police chokeholds, a prohibition of false race-based 911 reports, and the designation of the NY Attorney General as an independent prosecutor in cases involving the deaths of unarmed civilians at the hands of police.

Governor Cuomo also signed an executive order on June 12: “The New York State Police Reform and Reinvention Collaborative,” requiring local police departments to adopt a plan by April 1, 2021 in order to be eligible for future state funding. Read more...

A Step Forward in the Fight to Restrict Illegal Hotels in NYC

June 18, 2020 12:59 PM

New York City and Airbnb have settled a year-and-a-half-long legal dispute over the City’s right to require Airbnb to turn over data in order to more effectively enforce local law.

Over the last 10 years, thousands of union activists, community members, and affordable housing groups have advocated at City Hall and in Albany to pass common-sense laws that prohibit the operation of “illegal hotels” in our neighborhoods. Not only do illegal hotels compete with good union jobs, but they pose security risks and raise rents in working- and middle-class neighborhoods across New York City. Read more...

Request an Absentee Ballot

June 16, 2020 8:00 AM

Today is the deadline to request your absentee ballot online or by mail, email, or fax for the New York State and Federal Primaries on June 23, 2020.

In the fight for social justice, voting is fundamental. We need to make sure we have elected officials at every level that will stand up for the rights of working people. Read more about how to apply and cast your absentee ballot.

The Deadline for the Union’s 2020 Writing Contest Has Been Extended

June 11, 2020 4:06PM

The 2020 writing contest for high school students is underway, and due to the COVID-19 crisis the deadline for submitting entries has been extended to Wednesday, July 15. In addition, a new essay topic has been added: How COVID-19 Has Changed Our Lives. Read More...

“In a Historic Victory, NY Legislature Repeals 50-A, Requiring Full Disclosure of Police Disciplinary Records” - the Innocence Project

June 10, 2020 12:59 PM

As our long-time ally, the Innocence Project writes about here, a historic victory took place on June 9th, 2020 when both houses of the NY State legislature voted to repeal 50-A, requiring full disclosure of police disciplinary records. The bill is now headed to the Governor’s desk for his signature, which is expected. While the Innocence Project, HTC and a large number of other unions and organizations endorsed the repeal of 50-A, we recognize and applaud the demonstrators in NYC and across the state, without whom these historic votes would have never taken place.

Stacey Abrams: “I Know Voting Feels Inadequate Right Now… Just Hear Me Out” - New York Times

June 9, 2020 6:28 PM

Stacey Abrams, recent Georgia gubernatorial candidate, lawyer, author, and potential U.S. Vice Presidential choice is also the founder of the voting rights group Fair Fight Action and the most prominent American voting rights activist today.

In this Op-Ed piece, she powerfully makes the unglamorous argument that the most important way to further the cause of justice in our country is to doggedly and tirelessly work to get more Americans to vote in every election, and to fiercely resist the deliberate Republican strategy in many states to discourage and cheat us out of our right to vote.

We agree and that’s why we urge all our members to register to vote, to be counted in the census, and to become citizens when and if they can.

Please read Ms. Abrams’ essay here.

Reverend Al Sharpton: "Get Your Knee Off Our Necks"

June 8, 2020 5:18 PM

On Thursday, June 4th, 2020, Reverend Al Sharpton delivered a memorable eulogy for George Floyd at a memorial service for him in Minneapolis. The family asked the civil rights leader to give the eulogy for Mr. Floyd as this wasn’t a normal death, nor simply an untimely death, but a lynching and the family asked the Reverend who has regularly amplified the voices and experiences of being black in the United States to honor Mr. Floyd and to contextualize his murder. Rev. Sharpton poignantly and stirringly voiced the righteous demand of millions when he said, “what happened to Floyd happens every day in this country, in education, in health services, and in every area of American life. It’s time for us to stand up in George’s name and say get your knee off our necks.”

HTC urges everyone to watch Rev. Sharpton’s remarks in their entirety. You can watch it here.

Guidance from NYC for Hotel Workers Scheduled to Work During Curfew

June 2, 2020 4:06 PM

New York City has put into effect a curfew from 8 pm until 5 am daily until June 8, 2020. Hotel workers (and other essential workers) who are scheduled to work during the hours of the curfew, have a meal break, or must travel from their home to work and back home are permitted to be out during the curfew.

The Mayor’s Community Affairs unit has published a list of these frequently asked questions about the curfew and more, which you can read here.

Mario Gabelli, an Honorary Member of Our Union, Donates an Additional $170,000 for Scholarships

May 29, 2020 2:49 PM

He's done it again! Mr. Mario Gabelli, who has already provided contributions of $181,000 to our union's scholarship fund, donated an additional $170,000 in May, bringing the total amount of his support for the college grant program to more than $350,000. The additional $170,000 will be used to provide scholarships for HTC members' children totaling $85,000 in 2021 and $85,000 in 2022.

Justice For George Floyd

May 29, 2020 11:22 AM

"The killing of George Floyd is another horrifying repetition of the endemic racism which has never stopped plaguing and shaming the United States. We must all get and remain righteously angry, and we must all keep working, organizing and fighting to eradicate this disease so that every black man, woman, and child can walk among us without fear."

- HTC President Peter Ward

Union Wins Contract Extension for Americana Inn, Avalon, Shoreham, and Life Hotel

May 14, 2020 5:12 PM

The New York City hotel industry has been hit extremely hard by the coronavirus crisis. At a time when hotels would normally be at 90% occupancy, New York City hotels are reporting just over 40%. Despite the lack of revenue and uncertain timeline for re-opening tourism in the City, on May 12, 2020, Union leadership won an extension to the Division A Contract for over 120 employees at the Americana Inn, Avalon, Shoreham, and the Life Hotel.

Peter Ward and HTC Administration are Re-elected

May 11, 2020 4:35 PM

Peter Ward and the entire HTC administration have been re-elected to office by acclamation. The administration will serve a three-year term of office.

"It is certainly evident that our union faces unprecedented challenges right now," Peter Ward said. "I am confident that our administration has the best people possible to help steer our union through this exceedingly difficult time, and I thank HTC members for this vote of confidence in the re-election of the HTC Unity slate. You can count on us to work tirelessly and to do everything possible to return you to your jobs and to restore our i­­ndustry to where it was before COVID-19 struck. It will take a monumental effort to achieve this goal, but I assure all that this administration is ready to make that effort."

Building Political Power: Complete the 2020 Census Now

May 2, 2020 12:15 PM

If you haven’t already participated in the 2020 census, we strongly encourage you to complete your census questionnaire now. The results of the census are critical in determining your community’s political representation and getting access to federal funding over the next 10 years.

There is a great risk that because of fear among immigrant communities and because of COVID-19 (which has made it impossible for census counters to go door to door to collect incomplete surveys), that people will go uncounted in the 2020 Census. When people are uncounted it has drastic and dangerous impacts.

Resorts World Catskills Workers Vote Overwhelmingly to Ratify Their New Contract!

April 15, 2020 6:00PM

On Monday, March 30th, the workers at Resorts World Catskills ratified their second HTC contract through an online secret ballot vote. An overwhelming majority of 98% voted in favor or the agreement.

Negotiated before the Coronavirus outbreak, Resorts World Catskills signed onto the Greater Industry Wide Agreement (GRIWA), our union’s landmark master contract for upstate New York, Northern New Jersey and the suburbs of New York City. The GRIWA provides much needed security to the workers at Resorts World Catskills during this extremely difficult time in our country, securing rights, wages and benefits until March 31, 2023. 

New York Times: Airbnb Suffered a Big Defeat in Jersey City

November 27, 2019 8:56 AM

"The new restrictions were a major defeat for Airbnb as it prepares to go public and the latest in a string of laws that cities around the world have passed to regulate the home-sharing industry’s explosive growth.

The Jersey City regulations gained steam following concerns that the platform’s 3,000 listings, many run by large-scale investors, were pushing often-unruly tourists into residential areas, helping shoot up housing costs and accelerate gentrification." 

Read full article in the New York Times

The Story Behind the GRIWA

When HTC’s jurisdiction was expanded in 2010, it inherited hotels with weak contracts, low wages and benefits, and workers who were not impressed by the union representation they were receiving. After several difficult contract fights to improve upon these poor conditions, HTC set out with a plan to imitate the success that HTC has achieved in New York City by organizing more hotels to expand union density and by establishing a new master contract for the region similar to the IWA in New York City.

Why de Blasio’s the Candidate for Working Families

Throughout most of the last century, if you had a job at a manufacturing plant, it was hard work, but it also meant stability and opportunity. Whether you worked with steel, textiles, rubber or any of the industries that fueled America's economy, it meant you could have a house, a car and the ability to put food on the table for your family.

While many of those jobs no longer exist, their legacy of unionized work creating a pathway to the middle class lives on in the hotel industry. Hotel workers are the modern-day manufacturing plant worker.