December 17, 2015
By John Quinn
Chicago IL – After organizing since November 2014, workers in the housekeeping department at the Hotel Monaco voted in favor of joining UNITE HERE Local 1. With this vote, the Monaco becomes the third unionized hotel operated by Kimpton Hotel and Restaurant Group in Chicago, after the Hotel Palomar and Hotel Allegro, also represented by Local 1.
Workers rallied after the votes were counted, calling for Kimpton to begin bargaining a contract in good faith.“It’s been a long fight, and I am so proud that we decided to join the union today,” said Maricela Gonzalez, a Monaco housekeeper for 15 years and mother of three. “This is the first step to achieving real respect and dignity in our work.”In April, Monaco housekeepers walked out on strike. During the summer they held regular pickets in front of the hotel, calling for an end to pain on the job.
The General Counsel of the National Labor Relation Board issued a complaint against the hotel, alleging intimidation, harassment, and other federal labor law violations. Kimpton settled the charges to avoid further litigation.“We’ve marched in the rain, in the snow, in the sunshine, and now it's all worth it,” says Mayra Muñoz, who has worked at the hotel for 14 years.
*** UNITE HERE Local 1, Chicago’s hospitality workers union, represents over 15,000 hotel and food service workers in Chicago and casino workers in Northwest Indiana.