News

“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.

Don’t Be Fooled!

If someone approaches you, including someone who claims to be affiliated with the Union, and offers to help you find a unionized hotel job in exchange for money, it is a scam. DO NOT give them anything! The Union’s job referral service is free and hotels are prohibited by the IWA, the Union’s contract, from requiring (or even requesting) any “charge or fee” from job applicants.

City & State – Top Union Leaders to Gov. Cuomo: End NYC’s School Bus Crisis

For decades, the City of New York understood the importance of creating and maintaining a skilled, professional and experienced work force to care for and safely transport our school children, many of whom have special needs.

HTC was first – now the panic button idea is catching on

One of the occupational hazards that hotel workers in certain job classifications (especially in housekeeping and room service) face is the reality that their duties require them to enter isolated locked guest rooms by themselves, and that some hotel guests inside may have malevolent intentions.

Deduct Your Union Dues From Your New York State Income Taxes

Thanks to legislation signed by Governor Cuomo, union members can now deduct their union dues in full from their New York State income taxes. In order to take advantage of this new law, union members must itemize their deductions on their New York State tax filings.

Governor Cuomo signed the law in our Union auditorium on May 5, 2017 alongside HTC President Peter Ward, and hundreds of cheering HTC members. It was an important demonstration of the Governor's commitment to the Labor Movement, and a clear recognition of HTC as one of the most politically important Unions in the state.

A Game-Changer: The HTC Contract At Rivers Casino

The newly signed first union contract between HTC and Rivers Casino & Resort is a game-changer for 800 workers and their families. It will significantly improve their standard of living and their lives at work and vastly multiply their legal rights.

Rivers Casino Workers Ratify Their First Contract

An excellent new first contract has been successfully negotiated by our union for the 800 employees of the Rivers Resort and Casino in Schenectady, New York. It was ratified by the workers with a resounding 98% majority on October 17th and 18th. The casino/resort signed on to HTC’s Greater Regional Industry Wide Agreement (the "GRIWA"), which is our union’s recently established landmark master contract for upstate New York, Northern New Jersey and the suburbs of New York City.

Politico:  Hotel permits proposal approved by City Planning Commission 10.17

The policy would require any new hotel development in parts of the city that are zoned for manufacturing uses to obtain a special permit before beginning construction. This change, long a priority of the politically powerful Hotel Trades Council, would give the union significant leverage when negotiating contracts with hotel owners, as any permit would need to be approved by the union-allied City Council. Proponents have said the policy would help protect well-paying industrial jobs, which they say have been threatened by hotels in manufacturing districts.