Unions gained ground in Bay State last year

Union representation rose significantly in Massachusetts last year and bucked an ongoing national decline, thanks in part to aggressive organizing in the health care and hospitality sectors.

The percentage of the state’s workforce represented by a union rose to 16.2 percent in 2012 from 15.4 percent in 2011, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Meanwhile, total union representation nationwide dropped to 12.5 percent in 2012, down from 13 percent in the previous year. The figures include union members as well as other people whose jobs are covered by unions.

Hotel workers struggling under new owner get their Thanksgiving turkeys after all

It’s bad news for workers when hotel management company HEI Hospitality buys a new hotel. In Cambridge, Massachusetts, HEI’s purchase of the former [email protected], which it turned into a Le Meridien, has left workers struggling not just with staffing cuts leading to heavy workloads, but with the loss of their Thanksgiving turkey. The hotel’s previous owners had always given workers a turkey as a Thanksgiving bonus; with HEI having done away with that practice, UNITE HERE Local 26, which is working with but doesn’t represent the Le Meridien workers, stepped in to fill the gap. “Tom the Turkey” distributed turkeys to hotel staff Monday afternoon, while making a run for most puns in a press statement ever:

 

Boycott revs up against hotel, where so far it’s ‘business as usual’

By Marc Levy
October 24, 2012

 

Le Méridien Hotel management said it’s feeling no impact from a boycott called by workers and city officials a little over a week ago, but a union official warns that it’s early yet.

Workers called Oct. 11 for a boycott of their own employer and appeared the next Monday before the City Council, where a ban on holding city events was affirmed unanimously by councillors. In addition to demanding such events as a biennial post-election celebration be moved from the 20 Sidney St. hotel, some also testified to putting a more personal stamp on their opposition to management’s practices, with vice mayor Denise Simmons saying she had stopped having tea at the hotel and councillor Tim Toomey saying he was telling people to take their business elsewhere.

Le Méridien Hotel Workers Plan Boycott of their own Employer

By Marc Levy
October 10, 2012

The Le Méridien Hotel faces a boycott call from its own workers amid accusations they “endure crushing workloads” after staff cutbacks and the owners have rejected calls to discuss unionization.

 

Local 26 Marches for Immigrants Rights

On Tuesday, May 15th, Local 26 members joined community, immigrants and faith-based organizations against unfair deportation and profiling of immigrants.  Click on the title above to see video footage WCVB and NECN