Half Moon Bay Ritz Workers Form Union

Supportive Pastor Instructed them in Catholic Social Teaching

When hotel workers at the Ritz-Carlton in California’s Half Moon Bay, many of them recent immigrants, decided they wanted to form a union, the company hit back – hard. Several of the workers were parishioners at nearby Our Lady of the Pillar Parish, and they turned to their Pastor, Fr. Jose Corral.

After meeting with the workers and hearing their stories, Fr. Corral reflected on Catholic Social Teaching and then penned a remarkable letter to the group, explaining…

To all my concerned Parishioners regarding protecting your family by promoting a more secure and prosperous common life: The Roman Catholic Church has a long history of supporting workers and workers’ rights dating back two centuries to Pope Leo XIII. The Church’s teachings tell us we are to support the dignity of every human including those that provide us with our basic needs whether it be providing our tables with fruits & vegetables or providing a myriad of services from hospitality, cooking and serving food at our restaurants… I feel obliged to communicate to you, your right to organize and ask for workplace protections through representatives. Unions are a way for workers to negotiate for just wages, benefits and better working conditions, and to look after the rights of vulnerable workers…

The letter was exactly what the workers needed to take courage and exercise their rights. The workers voted 110 to 103 to form a union and join UNITE HERE Local 2. Congratulations to the Ritz-Carlton workers, and please pray for their speedy success in winning a just contract!

To read Fr. Corral’s letter in its entirety, CLICK HERE.

3 replies
  1. Laurie Konwinski
    Laurie Konwinski says:

    Sending congratulations and prayers for continued courage to the newly organized workers at the Ritz hotel, and thanks to Fr. Corral for doing the right thing and standing with them. I hope Fr. Corral will share this story with his brother priests so that more of them will be inspired to live out our Catholic faith in this way.

  2. Helen Deines
    Helen Deines says:

    Thanks for sharing this Good News! Sharing the word widely among Louisville’s immigrant support community and labor justice activists.

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