By Jim Smith
BOSTON — The three veteran Boston waitresses who feared losing their jobs to a younger crop of waitresses from Ireland when a new hotel opens in mid-September have dropped their discrimination suits and are getting ready to go to work at Kitty O’Shea’s at the Hilton Boston at Logan Airport.
"A final agreement has been reached, and the ladies are looking forward to their jobs in the new hotel," said Janice Loux, president of Local 28 of the Hotel and Restaurant Employees Union.
Loux had told the Echo in June that protests were being planned for the summer over what she described as the new hotel’s plan to staff its Irish-theme restaurant with Irish waitresses trained at a hospitality school in Dublin.
The union had also filed age and gender discrimination suits on the women’s behalf with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Speaking with the Echo earlier this week, 61-year-old Dorothy Webb said that the publicity and outpouring of support from around the world helped bring about a happy resolution to her plight and that of fellow workers Josephine Murray, who is 71, and 65-year-old Gloria DiMartino. "We’re relieved and very happy we were able to come to this agreement with the hotel, and we’re thankful for all the support we got," Webb said. "There were a lot of Irish Americans behind us."
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A recent Boston Globe editorial congratulated both labor and hotel management for working through their differences, stating: "At other Kitty O’Shea’s restaurants in the Hilton chain, management preferred waiters and waitresses with Irish brogues . . . the new Hilton will be better for giving fair treatment to the people who helped make the old hotel a success."
Webb and her two colleagues have worked for years at the nearby Ramada Hotel at the airport, which is being replaced by the new facility.
"They’ll bring decades of experience and love for their job to the new hotel," Loux said. "They’ll fit right in."