Carmel Valley, CA. UNITE HERE Local 483, representing 40 workers at Quail Lodge, approved a labor contract that increases employer contributions to health and pension benefits, as well as providing job protections in the event the resort sells to a new owner. The contract expires at the end of 2013 and covers cooks, dishwashers, servers, hosts, greens and maintenance workers. Should the hotel reopen, the agreement would also include the hotel workers.
“I am happy that we kept our health insurance for our families and job protection—most important since the resort is for sale,” said Carlos Mejia, a 15-year Quail Lodge greenskeeper and Local 483 member.
The agreement comes after nearly two years of contentious negotiations, dating back to the first bargaining session on June 18, 2009. Hongkong & Shaghai Hotels, the owner of Quail Lodge, closed the hotel portion of the resort on November 15, 2009. The company announced on April 14, 2011, that the entire resort is for sale.
“The workers had to hang in there for a long time, but their determination brought security for their families – especially in terms of health insurance, pension, and job security. Now we are hopeful that the hotel will soon reopen and Quail Lodge hotel workers can return to their old jobs,” commented lead Union negotiator, Leonard O’Neill.
Quail Lodge was purchased from the late Edgar Haber in 1997 by the 145-year old Hong Kong-based company, Hongkong & Shanghai Hotels. The Kadoorie Family, headed by 70-year old Michael Kadoorie, is the majority shareholder and listed by Forbes as the 159th wealthiest family in the world.
Founded in 1937, UNITE HERE Local 483 represents 1,300 Monterey Bay area hospitality workers at two dozen hotels, restaurants, cafeterias, and golf courses.