“It’s very bad," John Boardman, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of UNITE HERE Local 25, told Union City yesterday. "We've got 97% of our members out of work. About half of our hotels are mothballing. They're closing entirely. The ones that are operating, are operating in the low single digits around three to 5% occupancy.”
UNITE HERE Local 25 represents more than 7,000 DC-area hotel workers; UC checked in with John yesterday to see how his union and its members are dealing with the COVID-19 crisis.
“We are fully operational even though our office is closed," Boardman said. "We are in the process of contacting all of our members directly, by phone. We have a very robust text communications backbone in place. Almost 90% of our members are capable of receiving text messages from us. We have our website up. We're in the process this week of launching an email newsletter. So we're keeping people posted. We are all isolated now, so anything that we can do to do what we as humans need, which is create a sense of community, all of those little things will be important. So, call a friend, call a member, Keep in touch. Email, text message somebody. We're trying to do that as much as we can with our membership, so that they know what's going on.”
Click here to hear John on this morning's Union City Radio and catch more of our conversation on this week’s edition of Your Rights At Work, Thursday at 1pm on WPFW 89.3FM.