Thousands of workers at hotels in Chicago have voted overwhelmingly to go on strike if they don’t get a new contract by the end of August, the Chicago Sun Times reports.
More than 90 per cent of members of United Here Local 1 voted to authorize the union to strike if a new contract isn’t signed by the deadline.
The walkout would include workers at 31 hotels in Chicago, mostly downtown, including notably properties like the Palmer House and the Sheraton Grand Chicago.
The labour strife was motivated in part by hotel companies’ push to require workers to pay more for healthcare. “We’re tired of being stepped on, when these billion-dollar corporations are getting all this money and then they forget us,” said Larry Lewis, a housekeeper at Palmer House.
“They forget that we’ve made these places five-star, world-wide-class hotels … They want to take our healthcare, they want to take our medicine.”
In addition to calls for year-round healthcare, other issues between workers and management include job security, pensions, sick time, and long hours on the job.