Embassy Suites Employees Strike!
September 14, 2012 7:55 am
A bitter, two-year long labor dispute at Embassy Suites Irvine came to a head on Wednesday, as workers walked off the job to protest new management’s anti-union practices. The hotel is owned by Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers — the previous managers, HEI Hospitality, were sanctioned for wage and hour violations. The new managers, Hostmark, have upped the ante and issued 40 citations to workers who dared to wear union buttons, a federally protected right.
Hostmark took over management on September 1st, and the anti-button policy has proven to be the last straw, driving workers to strike and bring their grievances to the monthly board meeting of Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association, a heavy investor in Embassy.
“I have worn my button to demonstrate support for a union for two years. In the past 10 days, I’ve been disciplined five times by managers telling me to take it off or I’ll be fired,” said David Williamson, a janitor who has worked at the Embassy Suites Irvine for 14 years.
Members of SEIU 721, the union representing county employees who are LACERA beneficiaries, called on pension fund managers to take the strike and labor violations seriously and urge Embassy to comply with federal labor law.
UNITE HERE Local 11 filed with the NLRB, alleging a violation of workers’ rights over Hostmark’s button citations — they also state that the ongoing boycott against Embassy Suites Irvine has resulted in the loss of $2.1 million in revenues.
Embassy’s wage theft and hostile attitude toward workers could end up costing them dearly.