End-of-Week Wrap-Up: Janitors, Housekeepers and Rabbis

Diana Novak

We try cover every important new and developing labor story here at Working ITT, but alas, our small army of reporter/​bloggers can’t do it all — especially as the holidays approach. Here’s a quick rundown of some stories that slipped through the cracks:

Today (12÷18): In Delaware’s Wilmington and New Castle counties, janitors who clean Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase office buildings concluded a nine-month strike, successfully securing wage increases, health insurance and paid vacation time. The new contract will cover 800 area workers, raising their wages to $9.25 an hour over the next two years.

Thursday (12÷17): Angelica Corp., which manufactures hospital linens, ended400-worker strike at their Somerville, Mass. plant. After less than a week, the parties ratified a new contract that included a 45-cent hourly raise by 2011, in addition to an increased employer contribution to the pension plan and health insurance costs.

Also Thursday: A coalition of rabbis joined the fight to get 98 laid-off Boston Hyatt housekeepers rehired. The group joined petitioner Rabbi Barbara Penzner at Hyatt’s Chicago headquarters in criticizing the outsourcing of the housekeepers’ jobs. Penzner was denied a meeting with Hyatt CEO Mark Hoplamazian.

Wednesday (12÷16): Hotel workers affiliated with UNITE-HERE began a strike at the San Francisco W Hotel, following a series of strikes at San Francisco-area luxury hotels organized by their union.

Diana Novak is a fall 2009 editorial intern at In These Times and a contributor to Chicago INNERVIEW. She moonlights as a trial lawyer assistant.
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