Monday, March 24, 2008

the labor conditions

No, I don't mean the manual hours I put in to addressing the invitations or working on the website. I'm referring to the labor conditions for the workers at our reception venue.

You see, I'm a member of a labor union (yes, graduate students really should be unionized), and our current contract expires at midnight tonight. Tomorrow, unless something miraculous happens, I will be working a picket line.

This has gotten me thinking about the labor conditions of the people involved in the wedding. The photographer and musicians are self-employed, and the minister works at the church. But the workers at the reception, from the servers to the people washing dishes to the people checking in my guests at the desk?

They're not unionized, because the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel is NOT a union hotel. Nope, no Unite Here here. One of my younger brothers has been fairly active in labor organizing, and actually worked at the (unionized) Renaissance Hotel in St. Louis for a bit. (Maybe I'll ask him to share his opinions about bridal parties in a guest post.) He's got a lot of stories to tell, and I feel like I've learned quite a bit from his experiences.

With my contract expiring, it has made me realize how lucky I am that I have a union that looks out for my rights, and is the only reason I have decent health care. Those that are working to make our wedding everything we hope it to be have a right to health care and a living wage as well.

If I knew a year ago what I know now, I would have restricted my wedding reception and room block to a unionized hotel. Curious about yours? You can check out Unite Here's Hotel list right here.

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