On February 3, US District Court Judge Timothy M. Burgess granted a 10(J) preliminary injunction as authorized under the National Labor Relations Act, ordering the Sheraton Hotel in Anchorage to recognize and bargain with UNITE HERE Local 878. This order was wide-reaching and included many significant issues for the workers at the hotel, which is owned by Ashford and operated by Remington Lodging and Hospitality. The judge ruled that Remington has engaged in a wide range of unlawful activities, including:
- Unilaterally assigning non-union security work to bargaining unit members.
- Failing to notify the FMCS of the existence of a contract dispute and provide 30 days’ notice prior to making unilateral changes.
- Using Employer handbook rules to preclude workers from exercising section 7 rights under the NLRA.
- Disciplining, suspending or discharging workers for engaging in protected Union activities.
- Confiscating Union buttons.
- Prematurely declaring impasse and failing to negotiate with the Union.
- Coercing workers into signing a petition seeking to decertify the Union.
- Denigrated the Union in the eyes of workers.
- Improperly withdrawing Union recognition.
- Making unlawful unilateral changes in workers’ terms and conditions of employment.
The Judge’s order directed Remington to:
- Recognize and bargain with the Union.
- At the direction of the Union, return to the Union medical and pension benefits.
- Reduce the room quota for housekeepers from 17 to 15.
- Start paying for employees’ meal breaks.
- Stop charging employees for meals.
- Follow seniority scheduling practices.
- Allow the Union and its representatives access to the hotel.
- Within 20 days, hold mandatory employee meetings and read the Judge’s order to employees, or in the presence of management, have an NLRB Agent read the document.
The struggle with the Anchorage Sheraton began in December 2008, and since that time the employer has attempted to put up every possible obstacle to the workers achieving a fair contract. While the struggle continues, this is a major victory for the members of Local 878.
This decision stems from two complaints issued by the NLRB General Counsel against Remington. A third complaint is scheduled for hearing later this month, and the NLRB is investigating approximately 30 additional unfair labor practice charges filed by the Union.