Imagine if taking your sick leave made you ineligible for health insurance. This catch-22 situation was a reality for dozens of Teamsters 856 members at the Hilton Oakland Airport after management took it upon themselves to very narrowly interpret the contract.
Local 856 members who used their earned, collectively bargained, sick leave, holiday, and vacation allowances did not have this time counted as hours worked, making many workers fall just below the 80 hours necessary for health insurance eligibility. Some members were a little as .33 hours short.
“This was egregious,” said Teamsters 856 President Mike Lagomarsino, who serves as the union representative for members at the hotel. Lagomarsino was alerted to the situation by members at a routine negotiations proposal meeting.
Lagomarsino ordered an audit of the hotel’s records and filed a grievance. When the grievance procedure deadlocked, Teamsters 856 applied outside pressure, asking labor affiliates to boycott the hotel. Ultimately, the hotel agreed its interpretation had been incorrect, reversed course, and made all affected members whole.
“I’m thrilled that we were able to resolve this issue in favor of the hardworking Teamsters at the Hilton Oakland. Members should not have to choose between earned sick leave and health insurance – that’s absurd,” Lagomarsino said.
“If members think management is overstepping or interpreting the contract incorrectly, they should call their union representative as soon as possible. The sooner we know about possible issues, the sooner we can straighten them out.”
Teamsters 856 members at the Hilton Oakland work in housekeeping, accounting and at the front desk.