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2015 Annual Meeting
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Ghost Tour at the Annual Meeting 0 P. Guerrero de Escalante A GHOST HUNT aboard the QUEEN MARY has been organized by one of the attendees for WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 14th from 9:30-11:30pm following he AFS Welcome Reception. This is a 2-hour endeavor - led by an experienced paranormal researcher - and involves equipment and access to parts of the ship normally off-limits. If you have ever seen the SyFy show "Ghost Hunter's” you'll have an idea what this involves. This is a custom tour and a truly unique opportunity to be part of a small group exploring with with a top researcher. Official description below.   COST: $70 Limited spaces available – final headcount required by Thurs. Sept. 17th. To sign up - Please email Donna Reid asap at:   Paranormal Investigating Aboard The Queen Mary Explore The Ship’s Purported Haunted Depths Long regarded as one of the world's most haunted, join paranormal investigator and ParaXplorer Project founder Matthew Schulz as he leads guest investigators into the depths of the RMS Queen Mary and purported most haunted locations, including those not available to the general public, in an effort to connect with spirits who may still call the ship home.   Reported paranormal hotspots explored include a selection from the following: infamous First Class Swimming Pool, dizzyingly cavernous Boiler Rooms, Engine Room, R Deck-Forward, Isolation Ward and Wheelhouse, among others as who knows where each night will lead and each tour is different. Employ handheld monitoring equipment, share captured evidence and participate in group Electronic Voice Phenomenon (EVP) recording sessions and experimentation that place you in an investigation environment. It's an exciting evening of potential paranormal discovery.    
by P. Guerrero de Escalante
Monday, September 14, 2015
Reflections on Unite Here's boycott 0 M. Williams Dear Friends, I am writing to express my personal thoughts on the current situation with our annual meeting. They are not necessarily the opinions of the American Folklore Society executive board or of the Society as a whole. I do think, however, that I speak for the whole board in expressing our support for the Westin workers to vote on union membership in an atmosphere free of coercion. For me, one of the greatest frustrations of the situation has been the lack of information from the union. One might think that when a union asks a society such as ours to support a boycott (especially one with potentially ruinous financial consequences) that they would be more than eager to educate us about their cause, and especially about the issues under dispute. The hotel is apparently willing to comply with the National Labor Relations Board election procedures for a vote on unionization. Then specifically what principle are we being asked to support in the boycott? Apparently the conflict is over the method of voting: "card check” vs. secret ballot. The secret ballot is the procedure still endorsed by the NLRB and apparently favored by the majority of Americans (though not necessarily the majority of unions). I understand that there are legitimate concerns about whether the NLRB procedures favor the employer. On the other hand, I also understand why many worry about the potential pre-empting of the secret ballot in the card check system. Critics also charge that card check potentially allows a union to pressure undecided workers, a point of view that idealistically I would prefer not to believe. I stand ready to be convinced about the merits of card check over the secret ballot. However, the actions of UniteHere! give me pause. In the past weeks the union has called our members (and their supervisors) and shown up unexpectedly at their places of employment, at conferences and at their public lectures. Rather than initiate a productive dialogue, they have badgered or screamed at our members and indulged in name-calling. Some of the people who have been harassed are members of unions themselves or come from union families. Is this the union’s standard method of operation? The hotel workers themselves deserve more mature and articulate union representation. I believe that each AFS member should make up her or his own mind about whether to attend the AFS meeting or stay in the conference hotel. However, UniteHere! needs to open up an honest, informative, and respectful dialogue with the American Folklore Society, and needs to stop harassing our members. AFS will continue to urge the hotel and the union to start talking to each other and find common ground so that hotel workers can make their own choices. Sincerely, Michael Ann Williams President, American Folklore Society
by M. Williams
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
My experience with UNITE HERE 0 S. Magliocco Members of Unite Here, the organization fighting to unionize the workers at the Westin - Long Beach, have been using intimidating tactics to try to put pressure on AFS members to force the society to withdraw from the Westin. Many of us have received emails and calls, to which I have no objection; they have every right to express their opinion and persuade us to support them. But lately their tactics have escalated, targeting members of the AFS 2015 organizing committee based in the greater Los Angeles area, as well as uninvolved members of the public. Unite Here members attended the meeting of the Western States Folklore Society at UCLA April 18, picketing outside buildings where papers were being delivered. They harassed students from my institution, California State University – Northridge, who were giving academic papers for the first time, and who knew nothing of the AFS situation, bullying them into promising that they would boycott the AFS meetings in Long Beach. Many of these students are from under-served backgrounds and the first in their families to attend college. They were confused and intimidated; this reception only added to their already great anxiety at being on a different university campus and having to deliver a paper. Several weeks later, three Unite Here members showed up in my office to urge me to boycott the AFS meeting. We had a long discussion that went nowhere; essentially, they are unwilling to accept any kind of compromise short of AFS withdrawing from its contract with the Westin. Eventually, they became so loud and insistent that I threatened to call campus security if they did not leave. As they were leaving, they pointed at me and loudly chanted, "Shame! Shame! Shame!” attracting the attention of other faculty and disturbing classes that were being held in the vicinity. Finally, on Saturday, May 9, when I was giving a lecture at the Venice Public Library, members of Unite Here picketed the library and handed flyers to patrons accusing me of being anti-union and urging, "Tell Magliocco to do the right thing!” Library patrons knew nothing of the situation and were puzzled by this demonstration; many did not even realize that I was speaking there. The library director was not amused. Union members were within their legal rights to assemble on public property, but exercised poor judgment in the way they chose to approach library patrons, some of whom were discouraged from entering. I want to emphasize that I am a proud member of the California Faculty Association, a union associated with the National Education Association (NEA), one of the largest labor organizations in the United States. I strongly support the right of Westin hotel workers to unionize, but believe Unite Here is alienating the very people who would otherwise support them, and undermining itself by using intimidating tactics. I, for one, refuse to be intimidated.
by S. Magliocco
Friday, May 22, 2015

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