After A Year, Still No Contract For Denver Hyatt Workers

More than a year has passed since employees at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Denver became unionized, and workers still don’t have a contract negotiating wages or health benefits.

The hotel, located at the Convention Center downtown, was touted as a boon to Denver’s bid for the 2008 Democratic Convention when it was announced in late September last year that workers had successfully organized a union, appearing to show that the Mile High City would at least have one unionized hotel for delegates to stay at.

But that may not be the case, if the Hyatt cannot come to an agreement with the labor union representing the hotel employees. A staffer with UNITE HERE, the labor group representing the Hyatt workers, has confirmed that there is still no contract enforcing workplace issues like wages, health benefits, and vacation time. Katie Gerken, manager of the union’s local office, was not available to comment further on the contract negotiations. The Hyatt did not return questions regarding the issue.

“The contract is the core to what a union is. It’s a binding agreement between the workers and their employer that covers everything from wages and promotions and working conditions,” said Leslie Moody, president of the Denver Area Labor Federation (DALF), when asked about the issue in a June Colorado Confidential story .

Denver may not have to worry any more about nabbing the convention location, but with all of the work that’s being done for the event, and the current results of contract negotiations, could the convention spotlight be used to help persuade the Hyatt to accept an agreement?

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About the Author

Erin Rosa

Erin Rosa was born in Spain and raised in Colorado Springs. She is a freelance writer currently living in Denver. Rosa's work has been featured in a variety of news outlets including the Huffington Post, Democracy Now!, and the Rocky Mountain Chronicle, an alternative-weekly in Northern Colorado where she worked as a columnist covering the state legislature.

Rosa has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for her reporting on lobbying and woman's health issues. She was also tapped with a rare honorable mention award by the Newspaper Guild-CWA's David S. Barr Award in 2008--only the second such honor conferred in its nine-year history--for her investigative series covering the federal government's Supermax prison in the state.

Rosa covers the labor community, corrections, immigration and government transparency matters.

She can be reached at erosa@coloradoindependent.com.

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