WASHINGTON, April 30, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — From fighting to keep area hotels closed to launching targeted boycotts, Los Angeles-based hotel worker union Unite Here Local 11 seems to be doing everything in its power to prevent business from ramping back up at Golden State hotels. Meanwhile, recent financial data finds union leaders suffered no significant loss in pay during 2020, while 95 percent of its membership were reportedly unemployed at the height of the pandemic.
A recent mailer sent out by the union advertises its bogus hotel grading system designed to keep patrons away from non-unionized hotels. The union has also staged protests to otherwise lock workers out of their jobs. Local 11 recently called for a boycott of Chateau Marmont until “bartenders, servers, and room attendants return to their jobs.” But if the union continues to drive away business, workers won't have much to come back to.
Local 11 has also criticized hotels for receiving money through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). But the union seems to recognize PPP's broadly beneficial impact, given that three of the union's front groups have also received PPP money. Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE) received $250,000 across two PPP payments. Orange County Communities Organized for Responsible Development (OCCORD) received another $128,000, while the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE) received just under half a million dollars from the PPP.
During the pandemic, the union allegedly pressured out-of-work members to pay union dues — a move that sparked Congressional action. Local 11 also increased the cost of those dues. In 2019, the maximum dues payment per month for the union was $66. In 2020, that went up to $76. Initiation fees also rose from a maximum of $132 to $147.
Data from Local 11's latest financial filings with the Department of Labor show the union's leaders avoided the same financial turmoil the majority of its members faced in 2020. Union co-presidents Ada Briceño, Kurt Petersen, and Susan Minato did not see a significant reduction in pay, despite the union losing about 10,000 members in 2020.
Charlyce Bozzello, communications director at the Center for Union Facts, released this statement:
“After trying and failing to keep hotels closed, despite most adhering to strict LA County and state-based safety guidelines, Local 11 is now committed to driving away the very business that its members rely on. Does that sound like a union committed to getting its rank-and-file back to work? We certainly don't think so, and Local 11's members aren't likely to either.”
The Center for Union Facts is a nonprofit 501(c)3 dedicated to transparency and accountability in today's labor movement.
SOURCE Center for Union Facts