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Hotel and Gaming Trades Council President Richard Maroko with New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy in 2021. (Photo: HTC).

Maroko’s hotel workers union opening Montclair office

10 N.J. hotels will vote to ratify HTC contract on Wednesday

By David Wildstein, March 22 2022 7:50 pm

One of the most politically influential unions in New York politics is expanding its footprint in New Jersey.

The Hotel and Gaming Trades Council will open their first New Jersey office on Wednesday with workers at 10 New Jersey hotels voting to ratify contracts with the union.  That will up the total number of shops in New Jersey to 57.

The powerful union is headed by Richard Maroko, a Montclair resident who picked his hometown as the location for the new union office.

The union represents about 40,000 hotel and gaming industry employees in New York and New Jersey, including about 6,000 members who live and work in New Jersey.

Maroko is a political ally of Gov. Phil Murphy, who appointed him to the board of New Jersey Transit.    He assumed the top union spot in 2020 following the resignation of Peter Ward.

In 2019, Maroko and his union spent more than $1 million to pass  a referendum to regulate the short-term rental industry in Jersey City as part of an expensive fight with Airbnb and other short term rental companies.

Voters approved the ordinance, which had the backing of Mayor Steven Fulop, with a landslide 70%.

The son of Polish and Brazilian immigrants, Maroko grew up in Cherry Hill and is a Rutgers and Georgetown Law School graduate.  He’s spent two decades with the Hotel Trades Council and was serving as recording secretary and general counsel when Ward stepped down.

Last year, Maroko became the first major union leader to endorse Eric Adams for mayor of New York City.

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