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Westin Long Beach Buyer Alert


Westin Long Beach Buyer Alert


Buyer Alert: Westin Long Beach hotel subject to wage & hour class action lawsuit, federal ULP charges and international OECD complaint, says UNITE HERE

Contact: Jordan Fein | (312) 576-5048 | jfein [at] unitehere [dot] org

For over two years, the Westin Long Beach hotel has been subject to a labor dispute with the Los Angeles affiliate of UNITE HERE, a labor union representing 270,000 workers across North America. There is no end in sight to the conflict. Private equity manager AEW Capital Management (“AEW”) oversees the hotel on behalf of its owner, the Utah Retirement Systems, according to UNITE HERE.

The Westin is the subject of a class action lawsuit filed on behalf of housekeepers, restaurant workers, and banquet servers, alleging that their employer committed wage-and-hour violations related to missed rest breaks, missed meal breaks, and off-the-clock work, which remains ongoing according to UNITE HERE.

Furthermore, the Westin has engaged in what UNITE HERE has alleged are unfair labor practices, including threatening to reduce workers’ wages if they unionize and making statements implying that employees who supported the Union were not loyal.  In March 2016, a regional office of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), issued a complaint pursuant to charges filed by UNITE HERE Local 11. These charges remain pending.

In September 2016, UNITE HERE filed a complaint under the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises against Natixis Global Asset Management, of which AEW is a subsidiary. The complaint alleges that the Westin has violated these international business standards by among other actions, failing to perform due diligence in order to avoid and address adverse impacts affecting the Westin’s workers resulting from violations of both domestic law and the OECD Guidelines. The complaint also remains pending.

Employees at the Westin are requesting a fair process that allows workers to exercise their right to choose whether to organize in an atmosphere of mutual respect free from management intimidation and harassment, says UNITE HERE.

Other investment managers active in the hospitality industry have demonstrated their ability to manage labor disputes in a way that protects investors from labor disruption while not infringing upon workers' rights, according to UNITE HERE. Click here for a list of those responsible investment managers.

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Rep. Lowenthal National Security Letter re: Westin Long Beach


Rep. Lowenthal National Security Letter re: Westin Long Beach


Hilton Hotel near LAX to Trial


Hilton Hotel near LAX to Trial


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, November 2, 2015

 

CONTACT: Daria Ovide: dovide@unitehere.org213-481-8530 ext 238617-666-3799 cell

 

Feds Will Take Hilton Hotel to Trial in Subcontracted Worker Case
Hotel near LAX Among First Companies Charged Since New Joint Employer Rule

 

[LOS ANGELES]–The federal government’s labor law enforcement agency issued a complaint Friday afternoon against the Hilton Garden Inn in El Segundo, owned and operated by Hilton Worldwide, alleging the hotel illegally fired a subcontracted housekeeper for exercising her rights under federal labor law. Hilton Worldwide is 45% owned by the Blackstone Group.

The announcement comes on the heels of a key National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decision announced in August, Browning-Ferris Industries, affirming that companies can be held liable for violations of federal labor law committed against workers employed through temporary employment agencies. 

The administrative proceeding against the Hilton Garden In El Segundo, near Los Angeles International Airport, is one of the first in the heavily-subcontracted hospitality industry since the NLRB established the precedent.  

The NLRB complaint alleges that the Hilton Garden Inn El Segundo illegally fired subcontracted housekeeper Maria Amaya for federally-protected organizing activities, and did so to discourage other employees from engaging in these activities. The complaint also alleges that a hotel manager implied that union supporters were disloyal to the company, thereby interfering with, restraining, and coercing employees in the exercise of their federal rights.

“Hilton tried to take away my rights and my voice and then hide behind the temporary agency, but I will stand up for myself so the company will have to treat all its workers fairly,” said Maria Amaya, age 32.

Ms. Amaya worked as a housekeeper at the Hilton Garden Inn in El Segundo through an employment agency called Horizon Personnel Services, though she did the same work as the housekeepers directly employed by the Hilton. She also followed the same work rules, worked in the same locations, used the same equipment and the same break room, was listed on the same weekly schedule, and wore the same uniform—including a nametag with the words “Hilton Garden Inn.” 

During her approximately year working at the Hilton, Ms. Amaya was never issued discipline for any reason. But in March, a hotel manager told her they no longer had a need for her services. After her termination, the hotel assigned other workers to perform the work she had been doing.

UNITE HERE Local 11, the hospitality workers union, alleged that the Hilton Garden Inn and Horizon Personnel Services together violated Ms. Amaya’s rights under federal law by firing her for engaging in union organizing at her workplace.

In September, the government settled the complaint against the staffing agency, Horizon, which did not admit to violating the law by entering the settlement.

Blackstone Group is the world’s largest private equity company and also the largest hotel owner in the United States. 

 

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UNITE HERE Local 11 represents more than 20,000 workers employed in hotels, restaurants, airports, sports arenas, and convention centers throughout Southern California. Learn more atwww.unitehere11.org.