San Francisco Hotels Update New Website on Unite Here Local 2 Labor Issues

The Hotel Council of San Francisco, the trade association for San Francisco hotels, has re-designed and updated its labor news website SFHotelNews.Org this week. The website focuses attention on the contract negotiations with Unite Here Local 2 as well as other economic and travel news that impacts San Francisco hotels and the hospitality industry.

The website contains facts and figures about the wages and benefits for hotel workers in San Francisco, pointing out their combined salaries and benefits are currently almost 7 percent above the national average.

The “Facts and Figures” Section of the Hotel Council’s webpage points out that:

The Hotel Council of San Francisco and its members value the 9,000 employees who serve our guests and bring honor and prestige to our City. A hotel’s staff is what makes both the hotel and San Francisco desirable and successful. That’s why we not only value our employees—we pay them some of the highest wages and benefits in the nation to reward their hard work.

Local 2 UNITE HERE is spreading false information about the hotels of San Francisco and the wages and benefits of our employees. We set the record straight here.

According to the “First-ever Data on Employer Costs by Location” survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national hourly wage is $27.73 an hour. San Francisco is ranked the second highest paying cities in the US, with an average hourly wage of $38.52 with benefits. San Francisco hotel workers are paid an approximate average of $29.61 per hour with benefits. This is 6.8% higher than the national average.

In San Francisco, hotel employees that work at least two shifts (8 hours) per week for three weeks each month or work at least six shifts per month get, at a minimum, 8 PTO days, one week of vacation, and 11 observed paid holidays per year. That is nearly 5 weeks paid vacation a year.

Most Americans that have insurance through their employers pay a percentage of the monthly coverage. San Francisco hotel employees pay $10 dollars a month for health and wellness insurance ONLY IF they want to insure their families, otherwise, they pay nothing. This equates to $1,080 a month of insurance coverage responsibility, fully paid for by the hotels. Hotel employers are asking for employees to help share this responsibility in single-digit percentage contributions. This is not an unreasonable stand.

Beyond the wage and healthcare coverage, San Francisco hotel employees receive pension, legal, childcare, education and banquet funds totally nearly $230 a month. Again, this is all fully paid for by the hotels. The employees also enjoy three hot meals per day, paid for by their hotel employer.

Considering the wage and benefits listed above, we are confident and proud to say that San Francisco hotels have done our part in taking care of, not only our visiting guests, but also our employees, our team members. The Hotel Council of San Francisco continues to encourage UNITE HERE Local 2 to return to fair negotiations with hotel employers.

The recession took a big toll on the San Francisco tourism industry, the number one industry in the City. Hotels went months and months with empty rooms but yet we still paid our employees well and provide healthcare, PTO, child and elder care, legal and pension benefits unmatched by most industries. We are proud of our treatment of employees and we are there for our employees even when times are tough.

In August 2009, labor contracts expired in San Francisco hotels. Since then, UNITE HERE Local 2, the labor union representing our hotel employees, has organized counter-productive, disruptive activities, including multi-day strikes and protests, but the only thing that they have not done is come to the contract negotiation table with a will to establish a contract for its members, our employees.

Local 2 claims that their members are not paid well and are overworked and hotel employers are asking for unreasonable health insurance payment responsibilities from their employees. There is no truth in any of those claims as you can see from the statistics and information here.

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