All local 100 members have been impacted by COVID 19. From March 11, when the Big East Men’s College Basketball Tournament at Madison Square Garden was stopped at half time of the Saint John’s game until March 28, over 13,500 members were laid off, others have reduced hours, and the remaining members expect more layoffs at any moment. On March 24 we learned of the first member testing positive and hospitalized, from the Metropolitan Opera. By April 1, 16 other members tested positive. A woman from Sky Chefs at JFK and a recently organized member from SSP in the new La Guardia main terminal became the first Local 100 members confirmed to have died.
In New York, the governor issued the New York “Pause” Executive order No. 202.6 requiring all offices to eliminate their in-person workforce by March 23. This means that Local 100 office staff, leads and organizers are working from home. Meetings are banned, and all three offices are closed until further notice.
But the work of the Union continues; Local 100 organizers are speaking with members in all the Union shops and working with committee members and shop stewards to set up group video meetings on Go to Meeting and Zoom. From Monday March 23 through April 1, a total of 231 “virtual meetings” were organized, and 1765 members participated. In addition, on March 24 the Local 100 Executive Board and Trustees held their regular monthly meeting “virtually,” with 18 members in attendance.
In the these “virtual meetings” members got back in touch to share their stories and concerns, while organizers reviewed the Local 100 “Plan to Protect members from the effects of the Corona virus” and prepared members for “virtual negotiations with management” to push for your issues.
The key demands to the employers are:
- Continue paying laid off workers for 90 days.
- Continue Medical insurance contributions during layoffs.
- When jobs come back, 5 additional paid sick days.
- 14 days paid leave for members who are quarantined.
- No attendance points for absence caused by COVID 19.
- Training and equipment to protect members back at work.
These and any special issues in your workplace are the proposals the Union is making to all Local 100 employers. Some fair employers have already agreed to Protect their employees, and their laid off employees continue to be paid. Some employers are still negotiating, but others said NO.
Local 100 members are speaking out against employers who refuse to do their part, and we know other Unions, elected officials, faith groups, community allies and the media will agree that hospitality workers should be included when corporations get bailed out by the federal government. Online petitions are being prepared to push all employers to Protect the members!