In 2006, Texas-based Ashford Hospitality acquired the 370-room downtown Sheraton Anchorage Hotel. Ashford has paired up with its hotel management company, Remington Hospitality Services, to carry out a brutal anti-union campaign that is singularly out of step with the history of cooperation between the hotel owners and workers who have built our successful tourism industry in Alaska.
Ashford/Remington’s assault on Sheraton workers and their union began in late 2009 after the union filed an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against the Sheraton alleging bad faith bargaining. This first charge marked the beginning of the workers’ efforts to defend themselves against Ashford/Remington’s attempts to break their union and to compromise their job standards. Workers rallied to support each other against intimidation and retaliation and to speak out in opposition to management’s attacks against their union.
As an organized committee of dedicated employee activists grew inside the hotel, the workers’ actions became more visible. They began to conduct protests inside and outside the workplace; they picketed, they rallied, and an overwhelming majority of them signed a petition to declare that they were going to start asking the public to boycott their hotel.