UNITE HERE calls first contract a big victory for Portland airport food service workers


UNITE HERE Local 8 has reached tentative agreement on a first-ever union contract for about 125 Portland airport workers employed by HMSHost, a multinational food concessions company.  A contract ratification vote is set for July 9.

HMSHost manages the airport locations of Rogue Ales Public House, Rose’s Restaurant and Bakery, and several Starbucks kiosks — under a concessions contract with the Port of Portland.

If ratified by workers, the union contract will provide raises of $1.40 an hour for non-tipped employees, phased in over three years. It will also improve health insurance benefits and expand eligibility to more part-time workers.

And the contract goes a long way to improve scheduling, a key concern for food service workers: It requires that work schedules be posted at least five days in advance; guarantees minimum four-hour shifts, 10 hours in between shifts, and two consecutive days off in a row; pays time-and-a-half if employees work more than seven days in a row; and provides for annual shift bids and seniority rights for scheduling (and for vacation, promotions, and layoffs). It also mandates automatic approval of vacation requests if management does not respond within 14 days.

HMSHost, a subsidiary of the Italian multinational Autogrill, was formerly known as Host Marriott Services Corporation. In September 2014, the company voluntarily recognized UNITE HERE Local 8 as the representative of its Portland airport employees.


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