Still No Contract For Hyatt Workers

    Nearly nine months have past since hotel workers at the Hyatt Regency in Denver made the decision to unionize, and Colorado Confidential has learned that employees are still without a contract.

    The Hyatt, located at the Convention Center downtown, has been touted as the only unionized hotel in the city–a boon to Denver’s bid for the 2008 Democratic Convention.

    But according to one local labor leader, a contract is a necessary part of the union process.“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,” says Leslie Moody, president of the Denver Area Labor Federation (DALF).

    The labor group UNITE HERE successfully organized the Hyatt in September, and it is unknown when both sides will come to an agreement.

    “There’s been a lot more activity in an attempt to reach an agreement in the last couple of months,” Moody notes.

    In April Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean traveled to Denver to visit with local officials and smooth out labor disputes-which ranged from a lack of unionized hotels to using the nonunion Pepsi Center as a venue.

    DNC delegates were in Denver yesterday touring the city’s facilities.

    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@www.coloradoindependent.com.

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