Local 25 Testimony on QHTC Tax Incentives

Good afternoon. My name is Samuel Epps and I am the Political Director of UNITE HERE Local 25, a union representing over 7,500 hospitality workers in the D.C. region.

We support Councilmember Nadaeu’s amendment to scale back the ineffective QHTC incentives. The District’s Chief Financial Officer himself concluded in 2018 that QHTC had a minimal impact on creating jobs and revenue for the District. There’s simply no reason to hand out money to companies that aren’t investing in our residents, or providing meaningful benefits to our workers.

WAMU: MGM Grand National Harbor Workers Worried New Ownership Will Cost Jobs

The MGM Grand National Harbor is one of the top-grossing casinos for its parent company MGM Resorts International. But union employees are concerned that changes to its ownership structure could result in downsizing at the casino.

In a precautionary move, union workers gave public testimony Thursday asking Maryland’s Gaming Commission to increase regulation on hedge funds seeking stakes in casinos. Union workers are worried that MGM’s new relationship with hedge funds Corvex Capital and Lands & Buildings could influence staffing levels at the National Harbor casino.

Read the fully story here.

Statement: Wall Street Investors Threaten Maryland’s Gaming Industry

Amidst growing concerns nationwide about the potentially corrosive influence of Wall Street Firms on casino management, UNITE HERE Local 25 will testify before Maryland’s Gaming Commission Meeting on Thursday, April 25th. Local 25 staff and members will call on the agency to work with stakeholders across the region to address these worrying changes in the industry.

WAMU: An Update On Metrorail’s Late-Night Service

The Federal Transit Administration announced that it might pull $1.6 billion in funding from the Washington region if WMATA decides to extend its Metrorail hours. The FTA cites safety concerns: Extended service hours would cut into overnight Metrorail maintenance.

This puts a wrinkle in the debate about extending Metrorail hours. Proponents of longer hours say that the current schedule disproportionately affects workers in the hospitality industry, who struggle to find reliable, affordable transportation once Metrorail closes. But others are worried that extending the hours would lead to more delays for daytime riders and an economic loss for the WMATA, since Metrorail maintenance would need to shift to daytime hours.

Listen to the segment here.

Washington Post: Metro plan would subsidize Uber and Lyft fares to fill late-night service gap

UNITE HERE Local 25, a hospitality union representing about 7,500 workers in the D.C. region, seized on the Metro plan as a “PR stunt.”

“Local 25 is deeply skeptical of [Metro’s] reported plan to subsidize ride-sharing instead of re­instating extended service hours,” the union said in a statement. “That [Metro’s] plan essentially proposes to privatize a part of our public transportation infrastructure in the process only adds insult to injury.”

Read the full story here.

Curbed: D.C. Council gives final approval to Airbnb regulations

D.C. residents who use Airbnb or similar booking services to rent out their homes will likely have to abide by new regulations starting next October, when they are set to go into effect. The policies represent the first time the city has charted comprehensive laws for short-term rental units—an effort that has sparked a fierce debate spanning roughly the past two years.

Read the full story here.

Jaffe Report: Winners and Losers in the DC Election

John Boardman and Dyana Forester: The District’s unions went head to head with the developers and the business community in the at-large race — and beat them badly. Boardman’s UniteHere Local 25 of the Hotel Workers union put feet on the ground for Silverman, along with Forester’s United Food and Commercial Workers Local 400. Service employees (SEIU) and the Laborers union backed Silverman as well. In the coming political and policy battles, the unions put themselves in position to push around the business side, thanks to their support of Silverman.”

Read the full story here.