Federal Government Dismisses Sheraton Anchorage Charges Against Hotel Workers Union!
National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) finds no merit in hotel’s claim the hotel union engaged in threats or vandalism; NLRB investigates 23 new Unfair Labor Practice Charges alleged by the union against the Hotel; and the NLRB’s trial against management’s illegal behavior on 16 charges, that were found to have merit, continues On November 30th, 2010 Richard Ahearn, Regional Director of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), announced the dismissal of two unfair labor practice charges filed against UNITE HERE Local 878 by Remington Lodging & Hospitality, the Sheraton Anchorage’s management company. The charges regarded alleged vandalism and threatening remarks towards hotel management. In his decision, Director Ahearn demonstrated their lack of merit by stating “there was no evidence that the Union was in any manner responsible.” The Union believes the recent dismissal by the NLRB validates their original belief that the filing of these meritless claims was an effort by management to delay prosecution, defame UNITE HERE Local 878 with its own membership and sway public opinion. This is the second legal action lost by Sheraton Management in recent months. On October 28th, Judge Timothy Burgess, a United States District Judge based in Anchorage, Alaska, dismissed a lawsuit brought by Remington against the NLRB, which named Director Ahearn as the defendant. The avowed purpose of this suit was to stop, or at the very least delay, the NLRB from continuing their prosecution of the hotel over multiple violations of federal law in an ongoing NLRB court case. The current NLRB trial began in August and is slated to continue through the end of the year or longer if needed. The Sheraton Anchorage has been placed in front of Administrative Law Judge Meyerson. For the last several months, the NLRB has been presenting its evidence in support of 16 unfair labor practice charges against the hotel, originally filed by Local 878, that were found to have merit. Some of these charges include the hotel’s firing of shop-floor leaders, negotiating in bad faith, denigrating the union, and declaring the hotel non-union. Management’s disregard for the law has not ceased. The NLRB is currently investigating 23 new unfair labor practice charges filed by Local 878 against the hotel. These allege, among other things, continued acts of intimidation by firing three shop-floor leaders who testified in the ongoing trial. Local 878 alleges that these workers were fired in order to do two things: 1.) Stop other workers from giving truthful testimony, and 2.) Affect the credibility of their own testimony, because theirs was some of the most damaging to the Sheraton. Amidst management’s continued illegal activity and harassment, the majority of the workforce continues to push for a fair contract. The Union hopes the Sheraton stops their costly, anti-union campaign and makes the smart business decision to settle upon the reasonable demands of the workforce. However, if they continue to attack their workforce, the Union is prepared to continue to fight the legal battles, outlast them organizationally and drive the boycott forward. To intensify its organizational efforts, Local 878 has recently hired a new boycott coordinator, Matt Fennell, to work with the community and groups scheduling events to support the Sheraton workers.