Partly sunny

Petaluma Sheraton workers, management reach four-year deal

After two years without a contract, workers and management at the Sheraton Hotel in Petaluma have inked a new collective bargaining agreement that gives raises to employees and lowers their health care costs.

Both sides on Thursday called the deal fair.

The Sheraton Sonoma County-Petaluma is the only hotel in the North Bay with a unionized workforce.

The four-year agreement, expected to be announced formally at a celebration Thursday evening at the hotel attended by local and regional political representatives, covers about 100 employees at the 183-room hotel including housekeeping, restaurant and kitchen workers.

The contract calls for hourly raises of about 30 cents annually each year of the agreement, including a retroactive year. The employees' wages range from about $10 to $15 an hour, said Jessica Medina, an organizer with Unite Here Local 2850, the union that represents the workers.

Marty Bennett, a research and policy analyst for the union and co-chair of the Living Wage Coalition in Sonoma County, said the pact provides the best wages and comprehensive benefits at any large hotel in the county.

It also provides workers with important safety protections and safeguards for immigrant workers, he said.

About 30 workers lost their jobs earlier this year when they couldn't prove they were legally allowed to work in the U.S. The contract allows those workers to reclaim their jobs if they can prove their legal work status, Medina said.

Dan Evans, senior vice president of operations for Rim Hospitality, the hotel management company, said the deal was reasonable.

"With economics as difficult as they were, it was a tough time to negotiate," he said.

© The Press Democrat |  Terms of Service |  Privacy Policy |  Jobs With Us |  RSS |  Advertising |  Sonoma Media Investments |  Place an Ad
Switch to our Mobile View