South Florida Diplomat Hotel union workers avoid strike and agree to a contract
Union workers and management at the Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood have reached agreement on a new contract, narrowly averting a strike after months of contract negotiations.
Unite Here Local 355, which represents about 450 workers at the 1,000-room hotel, was awarded a three-year contract with a starting hourly wage ranging from $13.95 to $17 and then $20 from by 2025. This equates to a 43% increase in the minimum wage. Pay.
The two sides agreed to the working arrangement late Monday night. Diplomat’s old contract with the union expired on August 31. On September 2, union members voted almost unanimously to give their leaders the option of calling a strike if contract negotiations failed.
“This is an incredible victory for workers in South Florida. It was possible because workers fought back, willing to risk it all,” said Wendi Walsh, secretary-treasurer of Unite Here Local 355. Hospitality workers are the backbone of South Florida’s economy and finally the value of their contribution is being recognized with a salary they can live on.
The new contract also prevents Diplomat management from outsourcing jobs to non-union employees. With the exception of the reception staff, almost all of the Diplomate’s hourly staff are union members.
The hotel was owned by the United Association, a union of plumbers and pipe fitters, until it was acquired in 2014 by Brookfield Asset Management, a Toronto-based private equity giant.
Brookfield officials could not immediately be reached on Tuesday for comment on the new contract with the union representing many of Diplomat’s employees at the Broward County hotel.
It is the second largest hotel in South Florida after the Fontainebleau Miami Beach.