Hotel Agreement Holds the Line

Volume CIV, No. 1January, 2004

Jim Hannen

Negotiations for the new Hotel Users of Music Agreement concluded on Oct. 29. Local 802’s Executive Board approved the new Agreement and the rank and file ratified it on Nov. 20.

Because of the economic downturn, which began prior to Sept. 11, 2001, and seriously effected the New York hotel industry, the Hotel Musicians’ Committee agreed to continue working under the old agreement, hoping that the economy will improve.

Unfortunately, the hotel industry continues to experience extremely low occupancy rates, making negotiating economic increases impossible. Therefore, the contract, which expired Feb. 28, 2002 will be extended until Feb. 28, 2005 with no wage increases. Health benefit contributions, however, will increase to $25 per day and a maximum of $50 per week to coincide with the increase in Plan A eligibility requirements.

Once again the committee managed to stave off management efforts to eliminate job security and notice provisions, as well as a proposed reduction in the New Year’s Eve premium.

The status of musicians as employees of hotels was discussed and clarified, making it clear that musicians are eligible for the same benefits enjoyed by all hotel employees (except for those benefits specific to other collective bargaining agreements).

The hotel negotiation committee was chaired by member Richard Jenkins. The committee was assisted by Bill Moriarity, Club Date Supervisor Jim Hannen and 802 Counsel Leonard Leibowitz

Separately, Local 802 began meeting with the club date negotiation committee to discuss upcoming negotiations in that field; the master club date agreement expires on April 14. That committee is chaired by Art Weiss.