April 23, 2008
More than 500 UNITE-HERE Local 26 union members and allies rallied in front of Hynes Convention Center yesterday in solidarity with convention center workers currently fighting for a fair contract with Aramark, a national food service corporation. Aramark employees at Hynes are the only workers unionized through Local 26 who still are not provided health care or a pension. They have also worked without a contract for the past four months. They are now demanding the same treatment that their fellow workers receive in comparable positions from hotels and restaurants across Massachusetts.
Workers and allies held a picket line in front of the convention center for nearly two hours, chanting "Si, Se Puede!" and "No Contract, No Peace!" to the beat of an impromptu four-drum band. At its peak, the crowd nearly enveloped the entire block with a sea of red UNITE-HERE T-shirts. At the rally’s conclusion, Local 26 president Janice Loux promised that the fight would escalate if Aramark refused to sign a fair contract, saying "The union will not stop until the workers have health insurance for themselves and their families, and the respect that they deserve."