UNITE HERE Local 17: Crowne Plaza Bloomington imposes contract with two-tier wage structure

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UNITE HERE Local 17 plans to escalate tactics in a campaign for a fair contract at the Crowne Plaza Bloomington hotel. After more than one year of contract negotiations, management imposed a contract June 12 on the 50-60 Local 17 members working there. The previous contract expired more than one year ago, April 30, 2010 (Labor Review, May 27, 2011).

The union’s biggest objection to the imposed contract is that it creates a two-tier wage structure, one for new hires, one for current employees, said Martin Goff, senior vice president for Local 17. The difference in the starting wage would be more than $1 per hour less than under the previous contract. “That’s more than $40 per week” for a full-time worker, Goff noted. “That’s a lot of money to our members.”

The two-tier wage structure, Goff added, leads to concerns that management would “get rid of people and then hire people at wages that are substandard.”

To step up pressure on management, Goff said Local 17 allies will begin leafletting guest rooms at hotels in other cities owned by the parent company of the Crowne Plaza Bloomington.

Goff urged Minnesota union locals and their members to contact the Crowne Plaza Bloomington to ask management “to settle a fair contract” with Local 17. Contact the hotel’s general manager, Charlie LaMont, by phone at 952-345-1243 or by e-mail at clamont@cpmsp.com.