ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Under a settlement agreement, four housekeepers who alleged they were retaliated against and terminated for union or organized worker activity at the Los Alamos Holiday Inn Express are being reinstated with back pay.
The settlement this week resolves a complaint filed with the National Labor Relations Board. The hotel agreed to reinstate the workers, pay $11,375 in back wages, and post an official Board notice in the workplace informing employees of their right to organize.
According to a news release from the Somos Un Pueblo Unido immigrant rights groups, housekeepers Rosa Sanchez, Malena Sanchez, Ramona Salaiz and Yolanda Salaiz in September formed a work site committee to collectively complain about a hostile work environment, favoritism by supervisors, and unequal application of disciplinary measures. The workers alleged that the hotel soon began a series of retaliatory actions that included: threatening committee members with termination and lawsuits, reducing hours and having a uniformed police officer at a staff meeting.
Two committee members were fired in October and two more were fired in February, the release states. The committee formally complained to the NLRB alleging that the hotel had violated the National Labor Relations Act.
“All we tried to do was organize for better working conditions. We didn’t deserve to be mistreated or fired,” said Ramona Salaiz, a resident of Los Alamos, said in the release. “We look forward to returning to our jobs soon and to a more respectful work environment.”