UNITE HERE Local 1 represents 15,000 women and men working in the Chicagoland hospitality industry. Women make up the majority of the hospitality workforce, many of whom are women of color.
These housekeepers, bartenders, waitresses, cocktail servers are the backbone of Chicago’s most important economic engines, the hospitality and tourism industry.
The social and economic status of the male guests who frequent hotels, casinos and convention centers often contrasts sharply with that of the women who work there. This creates a power dynamic ripe for abuse. UNITE HERE Local 1 pioneered a survey tool to gain a better understanding of the extent to which women in Chicago’s hospitality industry experience sexual harassment from guests. The union also wanted to learn from women themselves what might make them feel safer on the job.