Pacific Grove, CA. Union workers at the Asilomar Conference Grounds, members of UNITE HERE Local 483, approved a 4-year and 9 month labor contract, which calls for up to $5.34 per hour in additional wages and benefits over the life of the agreement, as well as workload improvements. The union members voted June 22, 2011, at Asilomar with 98% approval. The contract covers 150 employees, including housekeepers, porters, cooks, dishwashers, servers, groundskeepers, maintenance, laundry, retail, and front desk workers. The agreement is with the Asilomar management company, Philadelphia-based ARAMARK.
“I am so happy that we got the union standards for pay and health insurance for our families. Also, we’ll have safer workloads for housekeepers like me,” said Concepcion Geronimo, a 15-year Asilomar housekeeper and member of the Local 483 negotiating committee.
Richard “Chuck” Smith, another member of the union bargaining team and Asilomar grounds crew worker for 4 years, said, “This is a terrific contract. It was a long time coming, but in the end, we’ve got a more secure future ahead of us. That’s a very good thing!”
The agreement includes yearly wage and benefit increases averaging more than $1.12 per hour over the course of the contract. In wages alone, housekeepers will see a 21% total hourly raise from $12.70 to $15.35. A $1 per hour wage increase in the last 12 months of the agreement equals the largest annual pay raise in Local 483 history.
“This contract victory belongs not only to the Asilomar workers, but to the entire Monterey Peninsula community who supported us all the way,” commented Union Vice President, Hector Azpilcueta.