Standing up for Our Rights

On May 1 my daughter and I joined Local 26 members and their families to march for immigrants rights. Since 2006, immigrant communities have been holding yearly marches in their search for better protections at work, and an end to discrimination. We marched to show that we are organized and that we are not afraid.

We also marched to make it clear that we will never stop fighting bosses that abuse us. We are still fighting Hyatt, a hotel chain that fired and subcontracted all of their housekeepers in Boston. Hyatt might have thought they could get away with hurting immigrant workers without a union. They must know now that Boston hotel workers are united and we will not stand by while others are mistreated.

I was proud to see our members at the march. We come from all over the world, and together we are changing the way Boston works. We have fought for and won contract protection that makes sure our bosses can’t discriminate against immigrant workers. We continue to stand up for our rights; making Boston-area hotels, stadiums, restaurants, and dining halls better places to work for all of us.

–Brian Lang, President of Local 26

Building the Union

We’re working hard to build the union so that our numbers and strength grow and it shows!

Workers at the Renaissance Hotel are still celebrating after winning a two-year struggle for a contract. In February, members overwhelmingly ratified an agreement that brings them into our city-wide contract standards.

At the Back Bay Hotel, a long-awaited NLRB decision proved the hotel had unfairly interceded in an earlier union election. On May 5 workers voted “yes!” to join the union.  We’re proud to welcome them as full members of Local 26.

No More Subcontracting! On April 26 Local 26 member and former Hyatt housekeeper Wanda Rosario demanded the Cambridge Licensing Commission require that hotels directly employ housekeepers rather than subcontracting them, as 3 Hyatts in Boston and Cambridge did in 2009. Local 26 members along with former Hyatt housekeepers and housemen packed the room to hear a series of speakers explain how the use of temporary and outsourced workers is bad for guests and bad for the community.

No More Subcontracting!

On April 26 Local 26 member and former Hyatt housekeeper Wanda Rosario demanded the Cambridge Licensing Commission require that hotels directly employ housekeepers rather than subcontracting them, as 3 Hyatts in Boston and Cambridge did in 2009.

Local 26 members along with former Hyatt housekeepers and housemen packed the room to hear a series of speakers explain how the use of temporary and outsourced workers is bad for guests and bad for the community.

Justice and Respect for Harvard Workers

On April 5, 2011, 550 food service workers at Harvard University and Harvard’s Business, Medical and Public Health schools began bargaining for a new contract.

Through years of struggle, which have included demonstrations, strikes and legendary sit ins, Harvard Local 26 members have won some of the best wages and benefits in the country.

But total income for Harvard’s workers has been going down even as hourly wages are going up. The average worker saw an almost $900 drop in annual wages from 2009 to 2010.

The cut in income has been partly because of an increase in the non-sustainable practice of outsourcing food production:

Many foods now arrive ready peeled, pre-sliced, pre-packaged, pre-processed and preserved. In the past items bread was baked fresh on campus and soup was from whole ingredients. Today we find that too often foods arrive at campus pre-prepared and pre-packaged.

We believe that this trend has decreased the quality of food and increased the level of waste in packaging.

In the hotels we’re fighting against fake “Green Programs” that take money away from workers. At Harvard, we’re fighting for a real “green” agenda: Sustainable Foods and Sustainable Jobs.

Our members are strong and they have the support of Harvard’s students, and we have a plan to win!