"Delegates" Lobby for Union at Hotel
By Teresa Rochester
April 23 -- Union organizers are pressing on with their unionizing campaign at the Doubletree Guest Suites Hotel, sending delegates -- ranging from teachers to religious leaders -- into the hotel to call for management neutrality.
The most recent delegation of about 12 clergy and 20 community members prayed and chanted in the hotel's restaurant early Tuesday afternoon.
According to a set of union instructions obtained by hotel employees, the group would order small dishes such as appetizers. At one point, a clergy member would stand up and put on a pro-union sticker. Other delegates would follow suit, then link hands and pray.
Hotel management asked the group to leave, which it did. Standing outside the building the group continued to chant, according to a hotel employee, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The employee said management would never agree to a card-check vote, which requires that management remain neutral during an employee campaign to gather signatures in support of a union. Unlike a traditional vote overseen by the National Labor Relations Board, a card check election cannot be appealed.
"It's not going to work this way," the employee said. "We understand these signatures were gathered in rather illegal, dirty and deceptive ways."
Despite the deadlock over a card check election, a union organizer said that the Hotel Employees Restaurant Employees Local 814 will continue to send delegations of community members into the hotel to demand neutrality.More than 100 people - including students, teachers and former local elected officials -- have participated in about 20 delegation visits, said organizer Robin Dixon. She added that more high-profile actions can be expected.
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