What is my union contract?
Your contract is a legally binding document that details the majority of your rights and responsibilities during your employment. This document was negotiated by two parties:
- Your union — through a committee of your co-workers
- Representatives from hotel management and ownership. It was then put to a vote of those in our union. You are also given an employee handbook when you begin working for the employer. This document is a packet of policies that supplement the contract.
- In the event where hotel policy contradicts wording in the contract, contract language wins. When neither the contract nor handbook addresses a particular issue, “past practice” dictates how the situation should be handled.
What do I do if I feel like my rights have been violated?
- Check the facts in your contract! Many of the answers you seek are detailed in this document. For instance: holiday pay, vacation time, healthcare, retirement plan, discipline, grievance procedure (a system for fighting disciplinary action), scheduling, seniority, etc. You can pick up a copy of your contract from the union hall.
- Talk to a shop steward or your union representative
- File a grievance – see the grievance procedure section in your contract for how to do this. Make sure to check how many days you have to file it!
I think my supervisor is going to discipline me, what are my rights?
- You have the right to have a union representative present when you are being asked questions that may lead to discipline – these are called your Weingarten Rights. (Based upon the U.S. Supreme Court’s Weingarten Ruling in 1975)
- Say the following: “If this meeting might lead to my being disciplined, I request that my union representative be present. Without this representation, it is my right not to participate in any such meeting.”
- Then, call your representative or advocate. It is your responsibility to contact your representative so that a meeting can be set during a time that works for management, yourself, and your advocate.