Local 2850 Endorsements – November 2016

We’ve all heard a lot about the presidential election – but there are crucial races here in our own cities. Here are Local 2850’s endorsements for candidates and ballot measures that will protect good jobs and affordable housing in the Bay Area.


At large: Rebecca Kaplan
District 1: Dan Kalb

District 3: Lynnette McElhaney
District 5: Noel Gallo
Yes on Measure JJ — renter protection
Mayor: Kriss Worthington and Jesse Arreguin (ranked choice, in either order)
District 3: Ben Bartlett
City Council (at-large, vote for all 3)
John Bauters
Ally Medina
Christian Patz
San Leandro
District 2: Bryan Azevedo
City Council at-large: Malia Vella

City Council (at-large, vote for both)
Melvin Willis
Ben Choi
Yes on Measure L — rent control and just cause eviction protections
City Council (at-large, vote for both)
Edi Birsan
Pablo Benavente
City Council at-large: Bill Wolpert
City Council (at-large, vote for both)
Scott Sedgley
Mary Luros

San Pablo Casino negotiations: 11/30/15

Topics will include: Raises and Health Insurance
Monday November 30, 12:00 noon
Casino Building 101

Graton Casino Resort workers in Sonoma just won a great new contract with UNITE HERE! Highlights of their contract include:
*Healthcare: Single $0,   Single plus 1  $ 20,  Family  $40
*Graton Casino agreed to match any increases to CA minimum wage
*Sample of some October 1, 2015 pay rates at Graton:
-IM (Housekeeping at San Pablo): $14.80
-Steward/ (Utility at San Pablo): $14.80
-Cook Team Dining Room: $18.60
-Host: $17.85
-GSA/Gaming floor person: $14.90
Plus, Graton workers got a signing bonus of $0.25 per hour worked for the last 12 month period prior to contract ratification!

Important Announcement for Oakland Marriott Workers

Dear Union Member:
As of midnight, April 30th, Interstate-Rim Management Company, LLC (“Interstate-Rim”) will no longer be manager of the Marriott Oakland.  Consequently, your employment with Interstate-Rim will end at 11:59 PM April 30, 2015.  In the event these dates change we will advise you.
The current owners in consultation with your union, UNITE HERE 2850, have requested that Interstate-Rim transfer your accrued but unused Sick and Hospitalization time to your new employer.  Also, the union and Interstate-Rim have agreed to allow you to roll over unused vacation to the new employer or to elect a payout of that vacation.  If you agree to have your unused Vacation time roll-over to the new employer, please complete a form (available from HR at the Marriott) acknowledging this process.  If you do not agree, check the box “I would prefer to have my Unused Vacation paid out to me”.  If you choose this option, a check will be mailed to your home address by May 8, 2015.  All elections must be received by end of day, Tuesday, April 28th or your election will default to rolling over your unused vacation to the new employer.
If you have any questions, please contact your union representative or manager.

Oakland Airport Restaurant Workers Declare Victory!

After a two-year struggle, nearly 200 restaurant workers at the Oakland Airport are celebrating their new union contract – which provides for raises, affordable family health care, and job security.

The workers struck in August 2013 to protest unfair labor practices by their employer, Host International, which included regressive proposals to freeze wages and slash benefits.

“Host wanted to turn our jobs into McDonald’s jobs that would leave our families in poverty. But we stuck together and fought back and won a great contract. Now I can take good care of my kids, and they can be proud knowing their mom stood up for them,” said concessions worker Nancy Moncada.

“We want to thank all our fellow Port workers, other unions, and friends in the community who stood with us for the past two years – we could not have won this victory without you.” Oakland Mayor Jean Quan dropped by the workers’ victory celebration on Tuesday. “Oakland should be a city where working-class families can survive and thrive – especially those working at the Port of Oakland. The airport food service workers have fought long and hard to make that vision a reality, and I congratulate them on their victory,” said Quan.

Under the new contract, non-tipped workers will receive 40-cent raises each year. An excellent health care plan will be available to workers for $10 a month for single coverage or $25 for full family coverage. Workers will also receive pension benefits, paid sick days, free meals, and one to four weeks of vacation per year.

The workers at Host are represented by UNITE HERE Local 2850; their previous contract expired in July 2012. Over the past two years, the workers have staged numerous protests and a one-day strike in their efforts to secure a fair contract.

“I hope this is an inspiration to all the people in Oakland and all the fast food workers out there who are struggling for a living wage. If you keep on fighting, you can win!” said Host worker Hong Mei Li.

Employees at non-union restaurants in the Oakland Airport also staged protests in 2012 and 2013, highlighting violations of the Port’s living wage policy. Earlier this year, the Port Commission adopted a policy that all new airport food and retail operators must sign labor peace agreements. Labor peace agreements may include guarantees of a fair process for workers to decide whether they wish join a union, free from employer interference or retaliation.

“It’s been a long fight, but the future is brighter for Oakland workers because of it,” said Local 2850 president Wei-Ling Huber. “The airport workers can teach us all what it takes to win good jobs for working-class families in Oakland.”

Press-Democrat: Graton casino workers vote to join union

Employees with the Graton Resort & Casino have voted to unionize, a move that adds the Rohnert Park tribal gaming destination to the widening trend of union representation of casino workers nationwide.

The vote by Graton casino employees sets in motion collective bargaining for a new contract with the casino, which opened in November. Union officials said they will look to protect benefits currently offered to casino employees, including 100 percent employer paid health care to all employees who work more than 20 hours a week.

“There is no preset list of demands,” said Sarah Norr, a researcher with Unite Here Local 2850, which will represent 600 casino janitors, cooks, waiters and gaming workers. “Definitely solidifying existing benefits is important to our workers.”

More than 70 percent of affected employees decided to join the union in an election that began last month. The other 30 percent did not participate in the process. Union organizers announced the results of the election Tuesday.

The move comes as union membership is declining nationwide but growing among casino workers. Unite Here represents 100,000 workers at gambling sites in the United States and Canada. About half of casino workers are unionized in California and nationally, according to Unite Here.

Under an agreement between Unite Here and the Federated Indians of the Graton Rancheria, which owns the casino, workers were allowed to choose whether to become union members without interference from the employer. Tribal Chairman Greg Sarris, who pressed for the deal to allow unionization, said he was pleased workers at the casino, one of Sonoma County’s largest service employers, would have their benefits contractually ensured.

“I’m so happy that people will have good jobs with us for as long as we’re around,” he said. “The selling point is not that people get better benefits, but that they get to keep them.”

Read the full article.

Press-Democrat: Graton casino workers voting on union

Larry Smith gave a cheer as he signed his union card Tuesday in a conference room at the Graton Resort and Casino.

Smith, who has worked as a porter in the maintenance department since the casino opened just outside of Rohnert Park in November, said unionizing will result in labor practices that are more equitable.

“We want to speak with one voice,” he said. “A lot of people are scared to take sick days. We don’t want to feel scared.”

About 600 gambling, maintenance and food and beverage workers at the new casino, one of Sonoma County’s largest service employers, are deciding this week whether to join a union.

Representatives from Unite Here, which represents 100,000 workers at gambling sites in the U.S. and Canada, explained the benefits of the union to off-duty employees Tuesday.

“We help to protect their jobs,” said Wei-Ling Huber, president of Unite Here Local 2850 of Oakland. “You want to have transparency, fair rules, security for the long term. When given the choice, people overwhelmingly choose to be represented.”

Read the full article.