Service & Solidarity Spotlight: D.C. Hospitality Workers Secure New Contract with Salary Increase, Benefits

D.C. hospitality workers

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our Service & Solidarity Spotlight series, we’ll showcase one of these stories every day. Here’s today’s story.

Thousands of Washington, D.C., hospitality workers, represented by UNITE HERE Local 25, ratified a new four-year contract last week, delivering historic wins to members on core issues.

The bargaining committee spent several months solidifying this agreement with more than 20 D.C. hotels and restaurants. Roughly 4,000 workers will see an approximately 25% wage increase over four years; medical, vision and dental coverage for staff and their families; an expanded pension package; and more. This contract victory comes just weeks after Destination D.C., the official destination marketing organization for the nation’s capital, reported that 25.95 million total visitors came to the District in 2023, a 17% uptick from 2022 and a higher total than the pre-pandemic record set in 2019.

“Everything in this new contract means so much to me,” Sarayia Johnson, a housekeeper at Marriott Marquis, said in a statement. “I love coming to work, I love the people, I love taking care of guests. But I have bills I need to take care of and food I need to put on the table. We needed more money, and I’m so proud we were able to win these raises.”