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March 14, 2011

Union to rally in downtown Roch.

Look for the labor union representing workers at a Rochester hotel to stage a large rally and picket in downtown today, beginning at 4:30 p.m.

UNITE HERE Local 21 is in a contract dispute with the owner of the Rochester City Center Hotel, formerly a Holiday Inn Express. The rally is scheduled to be in front of the hotel at at 220 S. Broadway.

“We have been in contract negotiations with hotel owner Mike Bhatka for several months and he has given us a final offer which the union has rejected," says union president Brian Brandt in a statement.

Bhatka says he is instituting a contract this week, which he describes as "competitive."

Brandt says the contract cuts housekeepers' wages by $3 an hour and the pay of the only remaining maintenance worker by $5 an hour. He says the contract that the union opposing also takes away all health coverage, sick pay and pension benefits.


Remember when they picketed Victoria's a few years ago? The logic was that if the previous tenant was union, the new tenant should be. How'd that work out for them?

For the $5 and $3 hour cuts, can you put that into context? IE how much are they making now?

Didn't we go through this before with Holiday Inn? I remember Victoria's, but seem to recall HI having this before. Or was this one ongoing?

I got offered a paycut once. I left and got a better paying job elsewhere. Didn't have to carry as sign or nothing.

It's time for unions to reinvent themselves.

How nice for you tc, but just because it worked out for you doesn't mean that that is likely to work out for others. Your example is the exception not the norm. Take a look around at today's economy, the odds of leaving a tolerably paying job and finding a better paying one are less than even.

JGreg, we are all responsible for our choices. I've had times in my life that I was working 3 full time minimum wage jobs to try to stay afloat. I didn't like it so I got really busy trying to fix it. I'm well past that point in my life at this point and it was all due to my efforts. Not the union. Not the government. Me.

If they folks that are pushing brooms and making beds aren't happy there they have the ability to do EXACTLY the same thing I did. It's a their choice.

Government and Unions are the problem, not the solution.

I don't think the women I met last night who work at the former Holiday Inn mind the work so much. I think what they see as unfair is the big pay cut, loss of health insurance coverage, loss of sick pay, and loss of retirement benefits. Having first hand knowledge of the back breaking work they do, I think they deserve it. Remember, if not for workers like these women, Rochester is a much different place.

I don't believe there are too many jobs in the Hospitality industry in Rochester that had the deal these women had. I admire them for standing up and fighting to keep the standards for this industry higher than usual.

I'm sure tc got no help at all from local, state, or federal government...

The fact that you were working what apparently were slave labor jobs but got a guaranteed minimum wage was thanks to government.

I took over a position with a local company and was informed that a union was starting to contact employees to form a union. In reviewing the wants and needs of the employees the union was manipulating truths, lieing about facts and twisting statements. We, as the business, were bound to only talk to employees about facts. One interesting fact was that the main issue of the union was to have direct deposits of union dues from employee paychecks. Really! The primary concern was not the benefits offered, the pay structures, the hours worked? Yes, as long as they had their money that was the main push. Interesting...

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