For immediate release
January 27, 2005
213-381-5611 ext. 23
Announcement of Major Development Regarding Hotel Labor Dispute By the National Labor Relation Board
Los Angeles — On Wednesday, January 26, the Los Angeles office of the National Labor Relations Board notified the attorneys for UNITE HERE Local 11 that the General Counsel of the NLRB has decided there was probable cause that the Los Angeles Employers’ Council hotels have bargained in bad faith with Local 11. The General Counsel has ordered that the hotels be brought to trial unless they settle charges of bad-faith bargaining.
Last July, the Employers Council hotels declared an “impasse” in collective bargaining. They unilaterally implemented their proposals that hurt their workers the most, using the impasse as an excuse. They started making their employees pay $10 per week for the health coverage that has always before been free. They pocketed the money. They did not turn the money over to the health insurance fund.
Local 11 filed unfair labor practice charges with the NLRB, alleging that the new charge for health coverage as well as other negative changes made by the hotels were bad-faith bargaining. The Union charged that there really was no impasse. It showed the NLRB that both parties, including the hotels, were making important modifications in their proposals at the very time the hotels claimed that no progress was being made.
The effect of the NLRB General Counsel’s decision to prosecute the hotels is that they will have to pay the workers back for all of the money they had been forced to pay for health coverage and to reimburse people who lost their coverage when they didn’t make the co- payment, if the General Counsel wins. They will also have to undo the effects of their unilateral actions.
Local 11 has said all along that there really was no impasse and that the changes were illegal. The Employer’s Council has pretended otherwise. Now, the “referee” has spoken.
The General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board is Arthur F. Rosenfeld. General Counsel Rosenfeld was appointed to his position by President George W. Bush in 2001.