In its messages to our members, UniteHere Local 11 suggests
that AFS should respond to the Westin labor dispute by moving the annual meeting. However, moving the annual meeting presents
a number of difficulties.
Even if we could move the meeting without penalty, it is highly unlikely that we would
be able to find another site:
The only other hotel in Long Beach that was an option for
the annual meeting when we booked it several years ago was the Renaissance
Long Beach, which also recently has been added to UniteHere's boycott list. Why were no other hotels an option? Either because they didn't have enough
meeting space, their space was already booked, or they declined to do
business with AFS for other reasons, like finding our meeting space needs too
intensive for the revenue the meeting would generate.
The meeting space for the Hyatt Regency in Long Beach, the only hotel in
the vicinity of the Westin that has been named a "fair hotel" by
Unite Here, is booked during our meeting. It was never an option for the
meeting as a whole, because its meeting space is too small, but now it is not
an option even as the site for a portion of our meeting.
Moving the meeting to another city is not a viable option. Meeting contracts are
arranged years in advance because the process of negotiating a contact and preparing a meeting takes a great deal of
time. Given AFS's small staff and the few months left before the upcoming meeting, attempting to find another host city is a major logistical obstacle. Additionally, moving the meeting to another city would be costly and unfair to our members who have
already made travel arrangements.