Union boondoggle or useful service? You decide

Interesting article in the LA Times today about Meetings Exchange, or Inmex. Inmex is a new program created by the hospitality labor union Unite Here. The LA Times article says:

    "We are providing groups and associations on a wide scale the information they need to determine whether a particular hotel company is taking a positive or negative approach toward its employees," said Unite Here hospitality division President John Wilhelm. "We think the impact on the hotel industry over time will be huge."

    But industry officials called Inmex a ploy by Unite Here to increase membership and said they would closely monitor the information being distributed.

    The organization is drawing criticism from the hotel industry amid labor negotiations with Unite Here in several major cities. The union orchestrated contracts to expire this year in a number of major cities — Los Angeles, Toronto, New York, Boston, Chicago and Honolulu — leading to a powerful threat of a nationwide strike. In Los Angeles alone, there are more than 5,000 union workers at 25 hotels.

According to the Inmex Web site, the organization provides a resource to member organizations that will provide help in site selection, cost analysis, and contract negotiations, and through Unite Here, also give them the latest on labor issues and lists of union and nonunion hotels.

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