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Workers vote to form union

Chase Hunter sonoma index-tribune

Feb 20, 2024

Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn employees finalize yearlong effort

Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn workers announced they had unionized on Friday, solidifying a yearlong effort to organize 275 workers at the Sonoma Valley hotel.

Sonoma Mission Inn workers will now be able to collectively bargain with Fairmont management on wages, health care and working conditions, which workers have said fall short from other Fairmont locations in the Bay Area.

“I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished, because now hundreds of families in Sonoma will have a better future,” massage therapist Teitzah Karys said in a press release from the hospitality workers union Unite Here Local 2. “I’ve lived in this community for over 35 years, and many of my co-workers live here and are raising our children here.”

Unite Here Local 2 highlighted the discrepancy in pay between union and nonunionized Fairmont employees in the Bay Area, saying, “housekeepers at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn make $21, compared to $28.10 at the Fairmont San Francisco.”

The result of the union election on Friday is as an accomplishment for workers who have alleged anti-union tactics by the hotel’s management while employees organized for a union.

The unionization announcement on Friday comes nearly one year after a Sonoma Mission Inn employees held a vigil outside of the hotel and spa on Feb. 9, 2023, rallying against alleged anti-union tactics by the hotel’s management.

There was sufficient evidence for these allegations to proceed to a hearing, according to a preliminary investigation by Region 20 of the National Labor Relations Board, but the hotel settled with workers and avoided going to court.

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