Unite Here, a 440,000-member labor union that includes hotel employees, has released the first edition of its Hotel Labor Advisor Newsletter for Meeting Planners. When I talked with Jason Ortiz, the union’s spokesperson, last week, he said that with citywide contracts between hotel employees and employers already expired in San Francisco and Los Angeles, and an impending expiration in Washington, D.C., planners need to stay in the know with what’s going on with labor at their meeting properties.
In a pretty slick move, Unite Here also managed to get the newsletter distributed to all MPI meeting planners in the US and Canada. According to the press release:
- "We find that when planners are given accurate, timely and useful information during contract expirations it helps them make informed decisions to protect their interests," said Jason Ortiz, Research Analyst with UNITE HERE. "In the event of a labor dispute, we want to ensure planners know exactly what’s going on, and know exactly what their rights and options are."
Regardless of whether their unspoken intention is to have planners turn up the heat on hotels that aren’t playing ball with the union (what can I say, I’m a little cynical--Jason says it's purely to inform people of what's going on), the first issue of the newsletter I saw was pretty darn handy, including city-by-city updates, a bit on force majeure language, and model language, drafted by the union’s general counsel, that it says "would fully protect planners from a potential labor dispute."
And if you have something coming up in San Francisco, this article on the labor situation there is a must-read.
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