by Riddhi Mehta-Neugebauer, UNITE HERE local 2

UNITE HERE Local 2 and Hilton San Francisco Union Square today announced a tentative agreement to end an eighteen month labor dispute in San Francisco. The settlement comes as similar agreements were reached in Chicago and Honolulu, and signals a major breakthrough in citywide hotel negotiations.

Mike Casey, President of UNITE HERE Local 2:

Hilton has shown itself to be a real leader in San Francisco’s biggest industry. With this agreement, workers and the company alike can look forward with confidence as the hospitality sector continues to emerge from the recent recession.

The contract settlement – which is subject to a ratification vote this Friday – was reached during negotiations last Thursday, and was finalized over the weekend. It is a four-year agreement, back to August 2009 and forward to August 2013. It provides for continued, fully-paid health benefits, pension improvements, $2.00 in total wage increases, and workload reductions.

With this settlement, UNITE HERE has called an end to the boycott of the Hilton San Francisco Union Square and is encouraging customers to book events at this property. The union continues to seek contract settlements with other employers in the hospitality industry, and maintains a boycott at several Hyatt and Starwood hotels.

Guadalupe Chavez, a room cleaner at the San Francisco Hilton and executive board member of Local 2:

This is a big step forward for us. I’m so glad the contract is settled with Hilton, but we’re going to keep on fighting for our brothers and sisters at other hotels.

Please visit our website for details on the settlement. Read labor activist Carl Finamore’s excellent account of the Hilton settlement on BeyondChron or see footage of the Hilton and Local 2 press conference on KTVU.