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:

  1. Your union — through a committee of your co-workers
  2. 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.
  3. 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?

  1. 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.
  2. Talk to a shop steward or your union representative
  3. 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?

  1. 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)
  2. 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.”
  3. 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.