2015 Annual Meeting: Westin Update
Monday, April 6, 2015
Posted by: Lorraine Cashman
UniteHere, the labor union that is demonstrating in front of the Westin Long Beach, is contacting AFS members and associates by email and phone, asking them to oppose the Executive Board's decision to continue with plans to hold the AFS annual meeting there this October (see the AFS Review, March 14, 2015).
AFS has not provided any member contact information to the union; presumably, UniteHere staff identifies prospects on the AFS website and uses a variety of available means to locate contact information.
In other respects, the situation has not changed since our March 14 announcement. At this time, the Westin Long Beach workers are not on strike. UniteHere staff and some employees are demonstrating to raise awareness that the hotel employees are not represented by the union. The union and hotel prefer different systems for a vote on
unionization, and each believes that the system proposed by the
other is detrimental to a free and fair election. As far as we know, there continues to be little if any direct communication between the union and the hotel about this matter.
We have urged, and will continue to urge, the union and hotel to begin communicating so that they can resolve the issues between them in a timely and collaborative way.
Our message to them is twofold:
1. AFS strongly supports the right of workers to decide whether to be represented by a union.
2. AFS strongly supports methods for unionization balloting that reduce to a minimum the possibility of the coercion or intimidation of workers.
Nevertheless, based on what we've learned we believe it unlikely that this issue will be resolved by the time of our meeting six months from now, and that demonstrations may well still be taking place at that time.
We will continue to keep you informed of any new developments in this matter. Please let AFS executive director Tim Lloyd (firstname.lastname@example.org) know if you receive an email or other communication from UniteHere or, for that matter, from the Westin Long Beach hotel.