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Local hotel workers have announced a settlement of their lawsuit against the subcontractor Hospitality Staffing Solutions (HSS), which they had alleged had failed to pay them for all the hours they worked and forced them to work off the clock. ("We Deserve Better
," Fran Quigley, NUVO, Nov. 16-23.) The workers and the union UNITE HERE also reported that multiple area hotels have severed ties with HSS, including the Hyatt Regency Indianapolis, Marriott, the JW Marriott, and the Conrad.
"We have proven that, when a group of workers stick together, we can make a real change," said Elvia Bahena, one of the 16 plaintiffs in the suit filed in U.S. District Court. "We are still have a long way to go until hotel jobs are good, family-sustaining jobs, but today represents a big step forward."
The terms of the settlement agreement are confidential, but plaintiff Eva Sanchez said she was very pleased with the terms and the precedent set by the litigation. "We have set the example for people in the Latino community that they should not be treated like slaves," she said.
Sanchez has since left hotel work to be an organizer for UNITE HERE
, which is in the fifth year of an organizing campaign in Indianapolis, the largest U.S. city without a unionized hotel.