Injunction delays strike
Despite a unanimous vote to go on strike, union hotel workers will not be walking out on the Radisson just yet. Last week, St. Louis County District Court Judge Mark A. Munger issued a temporary restraining order to keep them on the job. However,...
Despite a unanimous vote to go on strike, union hotel workers will not be walking out on the Radisson just yet.
Last week, St. Louis County District Court Judge Mark A. Munger issued a temporary restraining order to keep them on the job.
However, they have the support of other hotel workers, who may picket the Radisson on their own.
The order is in effect until July 11, when both sides will appear in Munger's courtroom, though union leaders hope to get it lifted sooner.
The request for the order was based on the collective bargaining agreement, which prohibits the union from authorizing a strike. The action filed by the Radisson claims that provision extends beyond the contract which expires Saturday night.
The hotel wants the agreement to remain in full force until both sides agree on any changes. It is also requesting that the court award the hotel costs relating to the legal action.
The court order prohibits the hotel and restaurant workers from striking or picketing as well as a work stop or slowdown. It did not prohibit the strike vote, which members of Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Local 99 took on Friday.
By late afternoon, union officials felt sure the vote would favor a strike and might even be unanimous. The contract will affect about 100 members and comes on the heels of settlement with the nearby Holiday Inn. Both union leaders and members view the contract as a major step forward.
When voting concluded early Friday evening, Carol Carlson, president of Local 99, confirmed it was unanimous.
Spirits were high among the two dozen or so workers who attended a Friday strategy meeting. The gathering included Holiday Inn housekeepers Margaret Muney and Karen Gaitel, who said they were there to support the Radisson workers.
As for the next step: "There may be some action," Carlson said, but it won't be Radisson employees. "All of the members support this."
The contract covers employees from the housekeeping, laundry, restaurant, bar, banquet and kitchen departments. The union's main focus is on improved wages and benefits. Under the current contract signed in 1998, wages for a hotel housekeeper range from $5.15 to $7.28 an hour.
The union also wants contract language assuring members receive respect and dignity in the workplace and addressing safety issues.