New York Unions Fight Over Hotel Workers

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Two major unions have begun fighting over who should represent New York hotel workers that provide laundry services, the New York Post reported.

The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) local chapter in New York, known as Workers United, is attempting to represent 300 hotel workers even though they are already represented by the International Longshoremen’s Association. This has caused a dispute between the two prominent unions.

Bryan McCarthy, a lawyer for the local division of the Longshoremen, criticized the SEIU’s move to the New York Post: “It’s avarice. It’s greed. It’s very un-labor-like. It’s easier to steal workers who already organized than to organize the unorganized.”

Workers United lead organizer Megan Chambers fired back to the Post that the Longshoremen have been “helping an abusive employer run a sweatshop and negotiate poverty-wages and lousy benefits and workers have reached out to us for real representation. We are proud to have these industrial laundry workers fight for the higher pay, better benefits and respect they deserve.”

Carnegie Linen, one of the laundry service companies, has filed a lawsuit in Bronx state Supreme Court “alleging that Workers United is trying to put it out of business by picketing in front of Manhattan hotels that are its main customers,” according to the New York Post.

As a result of this union dispute, the federal government has announced that there will be a new election to determine which union has the right to represent Carnegie workers.

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Connor D. Wolf