For immediate release
September 21, 2005
When:Thursday, September 22 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Where:Crowne Plaza LaGuardia 104-04 Ditmars Blvd
This Thursday, September 22, marks the one-year anniversary of the strikes at the Crowne Plaza LaGuardia, the Holiday Inn JFK and the Hampton Inn JFK. The Hotel Trades Council will mark the occasion by staging a huge rally at the Crowne Plaza. The Union asks its brother and sister union members from around New York City for their support for this rally.
The employees of the Crowne Plaza LaGuardia, the Holiday Inn JFK and the Hampton Inn JFK voted to join the Hotel Trades Council in 2004. But the owner of the hotels, Martin Field, refused to recognize the votes and engaged in legal maneuvering at the National Labor Relations Board to stall negotiations. The workers went on strike at all three hotels on September 22, 2004, and they have been battling Mr. Field ever since then
Following the NLRB votes the hotels were found guilty of multiple unfair labor practices. In addition, due to the effectiveness of the strikes, Martin Field petitioned for bankruptcy at two of the hotels, Crowne Plaza LaGuardia and the Holiday Inn JFK.
Among the unfair labor practices committed by the hotels are the following:
* Issuing “warnings” to pro-union employees.
* Threatening workers with reprisals, including losing their jobs, for supporting the union.
* Engaging in surveillance of employees’ union activities.
* Threatening workers with the closure of the hotel if the union received support from them.
* Summoning police officers to evict union organizers from the public sidewalk.
* Firing, suspending, harassing and warning employees for supporting the union.
When an administrative law judge dismissed the hotels’ objection to the elections at the Holiday Inn and Hampton Inn he sharply criticized management and said that the hotels’ evidence in the case appeared to be “made up” or contrived.
These are just some of the things Mr. Field has done. But there’s more. After using public money to go into business at these hotels he has now petitioned for bankruptcy at the Crowne Plaza LaGuardia and at the Holiday Inn JFK. In court papers the receivers have cited Field’s bad labor relations as one of the reasons he should not be permitted to continue operating the hotels. Futhermore, court papers reveal that:
* The hotels are in default on their bonds since May 1, 2003, and that accrued and unpaid interest on the bonds as of September 30, 2004 exceeds $9.5 million.
* Management of the hotels has damaged the properties’ financial solvency by purposely engaging in self-dealing and fraudulent transfers for the benefit of other Field companies.
* The records state that the hotels paid a Field-controlled transportation company over $2 million more than the value of the services received and that the Holiday Inn JFK obtained a $5 million loan in 1989 and then transferred over $4 million directly to Mr. Field.
* In his own court affidavit Mr. Field admitted under oath on October 15, 2004 that the hotels had spent over $700,000 on lawyers to fight the Union.
* The records also allege that from 2001 through 2003 the hotels diverted approximately $4 million in revenue that should have been paid to the Trustee and that the Hampton Inn owes the Holiday Inn $2.5 million as a result of an “inter-company” loan that has never been repaid.
* Court records also reveal that the Crowne Plaza loaned $200,000 “to certain individuals who, upon information and belief, are relatives of Martin Field.” This money has never been repaid.
The September 22 rally commemorating the one-year anniversary of the strike will take place between 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. outside the Crowne Plaza LaGuardia at 104-04 Ditmars Blvd. For further information members may contact organizers George Padilla (917-567-5151) or Nick Andrews (917-337-7618).