Show Us The Tax Breaks – A film by UNITE HERE

May 18, 2010

Show Us the Tax Breaks tells the story of how the Union Tank Car company abused economic development incentives to enrich its owners without creating any tangible benefit to the national economy. This provocative film argues that pitting states against one another as Union Tank Car did violates the spirit of public development subsidies and undermines President Obama’s economic recovery agenda.

The Pritzker family, also known as the owners of Hyatt Hotels, owned Union Tank Car from 1981 to 2008, when it sold 60% of the company. The Pritzkers are a group of eleven cousins whose net worth is estimated to be at least $20 billion. Thomas Pritzker, who remains the chairman Union Tank Car’s parent company Marmon Holdings, serves as the chairman of Hyatt Hotels Corporation. Penny Pritzker serves on the board of Hyatt Hotels, and is the chairman of four other Pritzker businesses.

While it is unclear exactly how much taxpayer money has gone to Pritzker-owned businesses, Hyatt-branded hotels alone have collected approximately $1.5 billion in public subsidies.

Learn more about the movie here, or WATCH IT HERE!

New Union Hotel in Downtown Seattle

October 9, 2009

The federal government certified union at the Doubletree Arctic Club Hotel in Downtown Seattle

We are excited to announce that there is a new unionized hotel in downtown Seattle!  The workers at the Doubletree Arctic Club Hotel – located at the corner of 3rd Ave. and Cherry St. – have successfully organized and first collective bargaining agreement.

“We workers at the Arctic Club are proud of our hotel, we love the building and now we are proud to be a part of Local 8” said Ross Kavanaugh, a member of the organizing committee who works at the hotel as a restaurant and banquet server.  “The organizing campaign brought us workers together as one and we look forward to making our hotel an even better place to work in the future” Kavanaugh added.

This is the first new hotel to be organized in downtown Seattle in quite some time and UNITE HERE Local 8 is proud to welcome these workers into our union.  This successful campaign is part of a new phase of Hotel Workers Rising, which saw its Seattle kick-off during the Westin contract fight in 2006.

“It is wonderful and comforting to know that the Doubletree Arctic Club Hotel has become the first new union hotel in the downtown Seattle area in many years” said Lina Evangelista, who works in the hotel’s laundry department.

We look forward to winning a strong contract so that the Doubletree Arctic Club Hotel workers can enjoy the same benefits that Local 8 members enjoy across the state, including regular wage increases; affordable and accessible family health insurance; a fair discipline procedure; a voice on the job; and a safe workload.

The hotel opened in the summer of 2008 and is housed in the historic Arctic Building, which is two blocks from City Hall. There are 120 rooms, a full service restaurant (Juno), and an upscale lobby bar.

Survey shows Port of Seattle neighbors concerned over health effects

October 7, 2009

SEATTLE — A majority of Georgetown and South Park residents believe trucks and other Port of Seattle operations are making them ill, according to a recent survey.

Puget Sound Sage today released data showing that 63 percent of Georgetown and South Park residents surveyed believe emissions from Port of Seattle trucks are making them sick; 56 percent believe truck traffic and poor truck management pose a danger to pedestrians and car drivers; and 75 percent of survey participants want the port to reduce the pollution, noise, and pedestrian and traffic safety hazards it causes. The door-to-door survey of 230 households was conducted summer of 2009.

“For the past three years, the Port of Seattle has ignored community pleas at public hearings for a health impact study of port trucking,” said Puget Sound Sage Executive Director David West. “In the absence of a port response, residents are taking matters into their own hands, starting with the survey and likely continuing with a public proposal for a comprehensive health study of the neighborhood.”

Click here to read the rest of the article.