It would be tough for any individual worker to go one-on-one with their employer. If there is no union, an employer can discharge or discipline an employee for no reason at all. There are no enforceable rules of fairness and no rights. But because we stand together, we have the power to demand and win fair treatment.
What we fight for
- Better wages, benefits and working conditions, such as paid vacations, holidays, and sick days, and family medical coverage and pensions paid by the employer.
- Dignity, security and the respect we deserve. Our union contract includes certain rights:
- Job security. We cannot be fired or suspended without “just cause;”
- Seniority, not favoritism, as the basis for layoffs and recalls;
- Better conditions, like fair scheduling, so that shifts and days off are chosen by seniority;
- Grievance procedure and arbitration. When disputes arise because of unfair treatment, union workers have the protection of the grievance procedure. The company does not have the last word.
- Representation. Workers elect shop stewards to deal with problems at work. In contract negotiations, decisions are made democratically, because workers elect a negotiating committee and everyone votes on important issues.
For information about your health benefits, please call (844) 813-3860 or visit the Hospitality Rx Website.
Members who are covered by the Medical Plan also have use of the Union Health Center. 160 West 26th St, 4th floor, telephone 212-924-2510. This is a state-of-the-art facility. It is open from 8 AM to 6 PM Monday-Friday and 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM Saturday. For appointments, call 212-924-2510.
The biggest difference between a Union and non-Union workplace is that with a Union, you have a contract. Your contract spells out exactly what your rights are. However, you must take the responsibility of enforcing them, with the support of your co-workers, Shop Stewards or Committee members. We can supply you with copies of your contract.
Your Union Dues
A Union gives every member the opportunity to stand up for justice and dignity. Our struggles are about more than contracts–they are about the right of everyone who works hard for a living to have some power on the job, some way of talking back to management without worrying about being fired.
We are a group of workers in the food service industry—an organization which joins us together to give us a voice in the workplace, strengthens our rights on the job, and secures a better life for ourselves and our families. Your dues provide the resources necessary to run this organization.
- Dues pay for the costs involved in negotiating contracts, handling grievances and arbitrations, legal representation, educating members and stewards on how to resolve problems.
- Dues pay salaries for Union organizers and staff, the cost of running the office (rent, phone, utilities, copying, supplies, printing, mailings).
- Dues pay for Shop Steward training programs, rally and strike expenses, and everything else we need to fight for justice.
We have worked hard to make our union stronger. In restaurants, cafeterias, bars and country clubs we won good new contracts to protect benefits and ensure that Local 100 members have the respect and dignity they deserve. After a 112-day strike at the Oyster Bar, we preserved health insurance and pension benefits and made sure that all strikers could return to work proudly. In the Federation of Country Clubs, we won significant contract improvements for over 400 members. At Pace University we fought for our members’ jobs when a new contractor took over the cafeteria. At Madison Square Garden, we continue to fight for the seniority rights our members deserve. Organizing victories in Restaurant Associates and Sodexho cafeterias brought hundreds of new members into Local 100.
Your dues payments make sure that we have adequate finances to continue our progress. Together, we can and will improve conditions and build power for food service workers throughout the New York region.
The Supreme Court has given union members an important legal right that other workers do not have. If your employer questions you about anything that you think may lead to your being disciplined, you have the right to request the presence of your Union shop steward.
For example, your employer may ask you questions about customer complaints, absenteeism, accidents, drinking or drug use, lateness or work performance. In your meeting with management, your steward can ask that management clarify questions, help you explain what happened, give you advice on how to answer, and act as a witness to prevent management from intimidating you or tricking you into confessing to a wrongdoing. Your right to have a steward present at such an interview is so important that they are printed on the back of your Union Identification Card.
You have this right, but you must clearly request that your steward be present. You cannot be punished for making this request. If your employer denies your request for union representation, he or she has committed an unfair labor practice–a violation of Federal Law–and you have the right to refuse to answer his or her questions without fear of being disciplined for remaining silent.