UNITE HERE Local 26 Endorses Ed Markey for US Senate

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 14, 2019
Twitter: @unitehere26


Senator Ed Markey to Join 100 Airline Catering Workers Serving American Airlines to Protest at Logan Airport

 UNITE HERE Local 26 to endorse Senator Ed Markey at national day of action calling on American Airlines to take action to end poverty and unaffordable health care


American Airlines reported $1.7 billion in net income in 2019. Yet, subcontracted airline catering workers who provide food and beverages served aboard American’s flights at Boston’s Logan Airport and around the country remain stuck in poverty.

Senator Ed Markey will join UNITE HERE Local 26 airline catering workers. “I am incredibly grateful to have the endorsement of UNITE HERE Local 26 workers,” Senator Ed Markey said. “As big corporations have increasingly declared war on our unions, choosing shareholder interests over employee rights, Local 26 has never been afraid to stand up and fight back for the working families across the Commonwealth. I was proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with workers on the picket line at the Battery Wharf Hotel this fall, and it is a privilege to stand with Local 26 once again at Logan Airport this week. Together, we will continue to demand fair wages, affordable healthcare, and dignified work for every person.”

Contracted catering workers at Boston’s Logan Airport prepare American’s first-class meals and ensure its flights are properly stocked for on-time departures, but only 38% of workers at LSG Sky Chefs at BOS had employer-provided healthcare in 2018, and only 10% covered any dependents. 46% of workers there make below $15 / hour.

“We are proud to endorse Senator Ed Markey in his re-election campaign as one of our two Senators from Massachusetts,” said UNITE HERE Local 26 President Brian Lang. “He has been a champion of working people in the streets and in our nation’s capital. Senator Markey stands with us in our campaign for a green, livable planet where one job is enough to take care of our families. We stand with him as our Senator!”

In a 2019 survey by UNITE HERE of 2,240 out of 15,000 catering workers at the two largest contractors nationally, 56% of respondents reported having gone to work sick, 66% because they could not afford to miss time.

American Airlines recently reached a $4.2 billion agreement with its well-deserving ground and maintenance workers in TWU-IAM. American should address the concerns of all workers who make its operations possible—including the catering workers who continue to be left behind.



UNITE HERE Local 26 is the hospitality workers’ union and represents more than 12,000 members working in the hotel, food service, and airport industries in Boston and Rhode Island.  Learn more at www.local26.org


Union study finds Black Starbucks baristas in airports paid less than whites

Black baristas at airport Starbucks make a median wage of $11.15 an hour, $1.85 less than white baristas, according to a report released Tuesday by the hospitality workers’ union Unite Here.

The union examined 2019 employment data of more than 2,000 unionized workers — 85 percent of whom were people of color, and 35 percent Black women — at 142 stores operated by HMSHost in 27 airports around the country, including in Boston.

In March of 2018, Starbucks announced that it had reached 100 percent pay equity for men, women, and people of color doing similar jobs at its US stores. In May of that year, Starbucks closed more than 8,000 US stores for a day for racial bias training following an incident in which two Black men were arrested at a Starbucks in Philadelphia.

But according to Unite Here, the airport Starbucks remained open. Nearly a third of workers responding to a Unite Here survey said they had struggled to pay their rent in the past year.

In addition, LGBTQ workers reported being subjected to offensive comments, and one in four immigrants were told to stop speaking their preferred languages at work.

On Thursday, workers plan to leaflet 700 Starbucks stores in 40 cities, including 20 in the Boston area, to raise awareness of the report’s findings. Starbucks referred a request for comment to HMSHost, which could not be reached immediately.

Katie Johnston can be reached at katie.johnston@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @ktkjohnston.

Battery Wharf Hotel Workers Win Strike

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 22, 2019

Contact: Nicki Morris, 857-498-2495, nmorris@local26.org

Twitter: @unitehere26

Battery Wharf Hotel Workers Vote on Tentative Agreement to End Strike

After 79 days on strike, Battery Wharf Hotel workers win monumental agreement

What: Battery Wharf Hotel workers to vote on tentative agreement and discuss their 79 days on strike at the Battery Wharf Hotel.

When: Friday, November 22, 2019 at 1:30pm

Where: Battery Wharf Strike Headquarters, 220 Commercial St, Boston, MA 02109

Who: UNITE HERE Local 26 striking hotel workers at the Battery Wharf Hotel, including hotel housekeepers, front desk reception, bellmen, cooks, dishwashers, and more

Note: Battery Wharf Hotel workers involved in the contract fight and UNITE HERE Local 26 Financial Secretary Carlos Aramayo will be available for interview in person at the event as well as by phone.


Why: After over eleven weeks on strike, UNITE HERE Local 26 and The Battery Wharf Hotel, part-owned and operated by Westmont Hospitality Group, have reached a tentative agreement. Since the UNITE HERE Marriott Strike of 2018, the Battery Wharf Hotel was the last hotel to agree to a contract that ensure sexual harassment protections, guarantee affordable healthcare, and provide enough income for hotel workers to support their families.


On October 3, 2018, Local 26 workers walked out at seven Marriott-operated hotels, including the Aloft Boston Seaport District, the Element Boston Seaport District, the Ritz-Carlton Boston, the Sheraton Boston, the W Hotel Boston, the Westin Boston Waterfront, and the Westin Copley Place. 7,700 Marriott workers in total went on strike from coast to coast. The Marriott Strike resulted in historic gains in the hotel industry.




UNITE HERE Local 26 is the hospitality workers’ union and represents more than 12,000 members working in the hotel, food service, and airport industries in Boston and Rhode Island.  Learn more at www.local26.org


UNITE HERE represents over 300,000 members working in the hotel, gaming, food service, and airport industries across the US and Canada. Learn more at www.unitehere.org.


Tufts Dining Hall Workers Win First Union Contract

We won! Tufts dining workers have reached a tentative agreement for their first union contract! Strike averted.

Tufts Dining Hall Workers Win First Union Contract!

BREAKING: We won! Tufts dining workers have reached a tentative agreement for their first union contract! Strike averted

Posted by UNITE HERE Local 26 on Friday, 29 March 2019

Tufts University Dining Hall Workers Vote to Strike

For Immediate Release: March 14, 2018
Contact: Nicki Morris, 857-498-2495, nmorris@local26.org

Tufts University Dining Hall Workers Vote to Strike

137 to 17, dining workers vote overwhelmingly to authorize strike

BOSTON, MA—After casting votes late into Thursday evening, UNITE HERE Local 26 Tufts University dining hall workers have overwhelmingly voted to authorized a strike. Now, a strike can be called by the Tufts bargaining committee at any time. After eight months of negotiations for their first union contract, Tufts University administrators potentially face the first strike at a Boston-area university since the 2016 Harvard Dining Hall Workers Strike.

“This is exactly the energy we need to win,” said Trish O’Brien, Tufts Dining worker for thirty years. “I saw my daughter go on strike at Harvard University and it made all the difference. We want everyone treated fairly and we want the same respect as other dining hall workers throughout Boston. We shouldn’t have to strike to win that, but we are prepared for anything.”

Tufts workers are also encouraged by the successful Marriott Strike of 2018, where workers at seven Marriott-operated hotels in Boston went on strike for 46 days winning landmark gains.

“I’m so proud to support the workers. We will back them through the strike, no matter how long it takes until they get a fair contract,” said Yashi Thakurani, Tufts University first-year student.

UNITE HERE Local 26 President Brian Lang said, “These are modest demands. We will see if Tufts has the moral integrity to rise to the occasion.”