The New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council, AFL-CIO, (Hotel Trades Council for short), is the union of hotel workers in New York City. Our 27,000 militant members come from diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds and include large numbers of immigrants and women.
Unions are the largest grassroots and progressive organizations in the United States. Unlike many other nonprofits, unions are controlled and funded entirely by the constituency they serve – the workers who make up their membership.
Every day, unions are at the forefront of the real fight for democracy and justice.
The New York Hotel Trades Council was formed in the late 1930s in a massive citywide campaign to organize the hotel industry.
Until then, hotel employees were among the most exploited workers in New York. The working conditions were appalling. The treatment was unfair and degrading. The benefits were non-existent. The hours were brutally long and the wages woefully low.
All previous attempts at unionization, including a general strike by New York City hotel and restaurant workers in 1912, had been crushed by the hotel owners.
Our first industry-wide contract was signed on January 18, 1939, and included a groundbreaking provision prohibiting discrimination in employment. The Hotel Trades Council and its affiliated venues have been at the forefront of the civil rights movement ever since.
For more than seventy years, our union has been a powerful force for social justice, progress and human rights, improving the lives of literally hundreds of thousands of hotel workers and their family members.