Six more hotels agree to union contract

The local hospitality workers’ union ratified contract agreements with six Boston hotels over the past week, including some of the city’s biggest properties.

The agreements avoid threatened strikes at the Sheraton Boston, Westin Copley Place, the Ritz-Carlton, the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel, the W Boston, and Westin Boston Waterfront. The hotel workers had voted last month to authorize a strike if they could not reach contract agreements with the hotels.

The five-year contracts raise workers’ wages and benefits by 4 percent a year, immediately boosting housekeepers’ pay to $17.48 an hour, and strengthens protections for employees if a hotel is sold or goes into bankruptcy.

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Unite Here Local 26, has now reached contract agreements with all but three of the Boston’s 24 unionized hotels. Negotiations are ongoing at the Hotel Commonwealth and the Ames, as well as at the Courtyard by Marriott in Dorchester.

Local 26, which represents about 4,000 hotel workers, plans to picket and distribute leaflets Monday in front of the Hotel Commonwealth in Kenmore Square on opening day for the Red Sox at nearby Fenway Park, if the contract is still not settled by then.

The union also plans to organize 500 workers to march from Cambridge City Hall to Le Meridien Cambridge-MIT Thursday evening to show its support for efforts to unionize employees at the hotel near Central Square.

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