The New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council, AFL-CIO, (Hotel Trades Council for short), is the union of hotel workers in New York City. Our 27,000 militant members are from diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds and include large numbers of immigrants and women.
Labor unions are the most important progressive and grassroots organizations in the United States. Unlike many other nonprofits, unions are controlled and funded entirely by the constituency they serve – the working people who make up their membership.
Every day, unions are on the front lines in the real fight for democracy and justice.
The New York Hotel Trades Council was formed in the late 1930’s in a massive city-wide campaign to organize the hotel industry.
Until then, hotel employees were among the most exploited workers in New York. Working conditions were horrendous. Treatment was unjust and demeaning. Benefits were non-existent. Hours were brutally long and wages pitifully low.
Every previous attempt at unionization, including a general strike by New York City hotel and restaurant workers in 1912, had been crushed by the hotel owners.
Our first industry-wide contract was signed on January 18, 1939 and included a ground-breaking provision banning discrimination in employment. The Hotel Trades Council, and its affiliated locals, have since been at the forefront of the civil rights movement.
For over seventy years, our union has been a powerful force for social justice, progress, and human rights, and has made life better for literally hundreds of thousands of hotel workers and the members of their families.