The San Francisco Regional Office of the National Labor Relations Board has cited leaders of UniteHere Local 2, which represents Hyatt hotel associates in San Francisco, for bargaining in bad faith during contract negotiations with the hotels.
For nearly three years Hyatt has been negotiating with UniteHere to secure new contracts for its associates at Hyatt Regency San Francisco and Grand Hyatt San Francisco. In March, the company filed an unfair labor practices charge with the NLRB on behalf of the two San Francisco-area Hyatt hotels.
In response to Hyatt’s charge, the NLRB Regional Director found that local UniteHere leaders were bargaining in bad faith by refusing to schedule more frequent negotiating sessions and arriving late and leaving early during scheduled sessions.
The NLRB’s decision in San Francisco comes only weeks after the Board’s Regional Director in Chicago cited UniteHere’s local leadership for similarly bargaining in bad faith in that city and making illegal contract demands during negotiations with Hyatt. Local 2 leaders also were cited by the NLRB in early 2010 for violations of collective bargaining by “unilaterally changing employment terms” without notifying Hyatt.
Hyatt views UniteHere’s systemic disregard for fair negotiating tactics as proof that union leadership is more interested in increasing dues by imposing union membership at non-union Hyatt hotels than in reaching fair contracts on behalf of the Hyatt associates it already represents.
“These bad-faith negotiating games are simply a way for UniteHere to avoid reaching an agreement so the union can continue to pressure other Hyatt hotels into accepting its method of forced sign up organizing,” said Russ Melaragni, Vice President Labor Relations, Hyatt.
Hyatt has offered UniteHere the same wage and benefits terms the union accepted at Hilton and Starwood properties in San Francisco and Chicago, but UniteHere leaders refuse to accept a contract or to let their members vote on those terms. UniteHere’s pattern of negotiating in bad faith undermines the credibility of the union’s claims about Hyatt’s workplace environment and leads Hyatt to question whether union leaders act in the best interests of those they are already paid to represent.
“UniteHere leadership has kept our associates in San Francisco who are represented by the union from getting the pay raises and benefits increases they deserve for nearly three years,” said David Nadelman, General Manager, Grand Hyatt San Francisco. “Our associates deserve the increased pay and benefits their union peers in the San Francisco hotel industry are receiving, and we stand ready to pay those increases. The NLRB findings make it clear that UniteHere leadership isn’t interested in doing the right thing for their members by signing the same contract they’ve signed with other hotels.”
As a result of the San Francisco NLRB actions, UniteHere has agreed to enter into a formal settlement agreement that specifies in part, that the union will not engage in conduct prohibited by Section 8(b)(3) of the National Labor Relations Act, or engage in other conduct that frustrates reaching an agreement, or fail to bargain with the employer in good faith.
Hyatt Recognized as a Great Place to Work
Both as an organization and at our Hyatt properties, Hyatt is repeatedly recognized as a top workplace:
• Hyatt was selected to receive a 2012 Gallup Great Workplace Award, which recognizes annually the best performing companies in the world.
• Hyatt has been named one of the “Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality” for the eighth consecutive year by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, which is America’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization.
• Latina Style Magazine has recognized Hyatt with the Latina Style Top 50 Award for “Best companies for Latinas to work for in the U.S.”
• As a result of survey findings from hotel associates, Crain’s Chicago Business recognized Hyatt Regency McCormick Place as a “Best Workplace for Women” in 2012.
• Specifically in San Francisco, Grand Hyatt San Francisco was selected No. 4 by the San Francisco Business Times through a survey of associates as a “Best Places to Work” in 2011, the third consecutive year the hotel was so honored.
“The satisfaction and wellbeing of our associates is fundamental to the success of our business,” Nadelman said. “Our associates are on the front-line to deliver a great experience to our guests.”
Hyatt Associates Should Be Allowed To Vote
UniteHere’s campaign is an attempt to boost union membership at non-union Hyatt hotels through card check, a non-democratic and often-intimidating process for workers. Last year, Hyatt sought UniteHere’s agreement to hold secret-ballot elections at four of its properties in California and Indiana, so Hyatt associates could make a fair choice about whether to become union members. UniteHere vigorously opposed allowing associates the right to vote. As a result, there were no elections.
“We respect our associates’ right to be represented by a union, and we have strong relationships with a number of other unions representing our associates,’’ Melaragni said. “We believe our associates should have the right to say yes or no to union representation in a democratic secret-ballot election, rather than being pressured at their homes to sign up.”
For more information, please visit www.hyattworkplace.com.
About Hyatt Hotels Corporation
Hyatt Hotels Corporation, headquartered in Chicago, is a leading global hospitality company with a proud heritage of making guests feel more than welcome. Thousands of members of the Hyatt family strive to make a difference in the lives of the guests they encounter every day by providing authentic hospitality. The Company's subsidiaries manage, franchise, own and develop hotels and resorts under the Hyatt®, Park Hyatt®, Andaz®, Grand Hyatt®, Hyatt Regency®, Hyatt Place® and Hyatt HouseTM. Hyatt House is changing its brand identity from Hyatt Summerfield Suites®. Hyatt Residential Group, Inc., a Hyatt Hotels Corporation subsidiary, develops, operates, markets or licenses Hyatt ResidencesTM and Hyatt Vacation Club®, which is changing its name to Hyatt Residence ClubTM. As of March 31, 2012, the Company's worldwide portfolio consisted of 488 properties in 45 countries. For more information, please visit www.hyatt.com.