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KENTUCKY-BASED COLUMBIA SUSSEX CONTINUES TO HURT ALASKA WORKING FAMILIES

For Immediate Release: June 5, 2013

KENTUCKY-BASED COLUMBIA SUSSEX CONTINUES TO HURT ALASKA WORKING FAMILIES

Monday June 3rd Alaskan workers of the Anchorage Hilton met with management and representatives of the Kentucky-based Corporation, Columbia Sussex, who owns the hotel. For five years workers have been fighting for affordable healthcare, safe workloads, job security protections, and reasonable wage increases in the face of out-of-state corporate employers. At Monday’s meeting the corporation again insulted Anchorage workers and refused to provide workers a wage increase for the fifth year in a row.

The Anchorage Hilton at one time was locally owned and was a cornerstone in the Community. It was a place where workers were treated with dignity and respect. Once upon a time, for 30 years, the Hilton was good to its workers and helped make and keep Anchorage a vibrant community. That all changed when Kentucky-based Columbia Sussex bought the hotel and has been driving down Alaskan families and their ability to survive in our great State.

Columbia Sussex, owned by William J. Young III, continues to hurt Alaska middle class families by imposing unsafe workloads on workers at the Anchorage Hilton, especially in housekeeping; a profession with higher injury rates than coal miners. Cuts to healthcare coverage of workers and increasing employee contributions further burdens Alaska workers. This five year wage increase refusal is yet another blow to Alaskan workers and their ability to provide for their families.

Anchorage Hilton workers, represented by UNITE HERE Local 878, have been attempting to negotiate with their employer, Columbia Sussex, since July of 2008. These Alaskan workers have simply been asking to maintain the same working conditions and benefits listed in their long expired contract which guaranteed safe workloads, job security protections, regular wage increases, and affordable family medical insurance. In May of 2009, Hilton workers overwhelmingly voted to place a boycott on their hotel.  Workers are asking potential guests, and fellow Alaskans, to support their fight by not eating, sleeping, or attending meetings/events the outside-owned Anchorage Hilton until the boycott is over.

Outside the Sheraton

Federal Labor Board Rules for Sheraton Anchorage Hotel Union

The National Labor Relations Board has largely sided with union workers at a Downtown Anchorage hotel in a long-running labor dispute, ordering its Texas-based management company to implement a series of reforms.

According to a 74-page Wednesday decision posted on the NLRB’s website (PDF), the board has decided to uphold administrative law judge Gregory Meyerson’s August 2011 findings that Sheraton Anchorage Hotel owners Remington Lodging and Hospitality unfairly infringed on the rights of UNITE HERE Local 878 members…

Read Full Story at:

http://www.ktuu.com/news/federal-labor-board-rules-for-sheraton-anchorage-hotel-union-043013,0,969079.story

National Labor Relations Board finds overwhelming merit to federal charges brought against Sheraton Anchorage

For Immediate Release
April 30, 2013

On April 24, 2013, the three-person Board that governs the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the agency that enforces the National Labor Relations Act, the federal labor law that governs most private-sector workers, issued its Decision and Order in a federal case brought by that agency against Texas-based Remington Lodging & Hospitality (“Remington”), the corporation that operates the Sheraton Hotel & Spa in Anchorage. The case stems from a long-running dispute between the Sheraton and its workers’ union, UNITE HERE Local 878.

In its ruling, the NLRB found that that Remington has committed numerous unfair labor practices against both the union and its workers, including (but not limited to) (1) in October of 2009, unlawfully imposing new requirements that housekeepers clean 17 rooms per shift, that employees clock in and out for lunch, and that employees who eat the food prepared in the cafeteria pay $1 for the meal; (2) in May of 2010, unlawfully taking away from the workers the Union health benefits plan; (3) unlawfully firing four workers and unlawfully disciplining many others for engaging in activities in support of their union; (4) maintaining and enforcing eight unlawful rules in its employee handbook; and (5) unlawfully withdrawing recognition from the Union as the bargaining representative of the workers based on signatures on a petition that Remington unlawfully obtained through threats and promises.

Remington now has to make all of the workers whole for all wages, benefits, and health care costs they lost or incurred as a result of these unlawful acts, plus interest, and (upon the Union’s request) return to the bargaining table and negotiate a new labor agreement with the Union.

Since 2009, Sheraton workers have been struggling to protect their benefits, their working conditions and their union from the employer’s egregious assaults.  To date, this high-profile labor dispute has been marked by the filing of over 40 unfair labor practice charges, two lengthy NLRB hearings (the first one of which has just resulted in the Decision and Order discussed above), with a third hearing scheduled for mid-July, two meritless federal lawsuits filed by the hotel (one against the Union, one against the NLRB itself), an ongoing boycott, frequent picket lines and an overwhelming amount of Anchorage community support. While workers are pleased with this new Board ruling in their favor, they want to remind the public that their struggle is not over and that they continue to ask the community to boycott the Sheraton until the dispute is resolved.

A copy of the complete text of the Decision and Order in this case, Remington Lodging & Hospitality, LLC, d/b/a The Sheraton Anchorage v. UNITE HERE! Local 878, AFL-CIO, 359 NLRB No. 95 (2013), can be found on-line at http://www.nlrb.gov/cases-decisions/board-decisions.

Sheraton workers demand NO MORE APPEALS!!

Anchorage Sheraton workers and Community supporters delivered a petition to Anchorage Sheraton Management, insisting the Texas-based Corporation Ashford/Remington who owns/manages the hotel to stop appealing NLRB court rulings  ‘on behalf of Anchorage workers’.

VIDEO: Anchorage Sheraton Workers Speak Out

Check out this video from Unite HERE Local 878! Workers at the Sheraton Alaska who experienced harassment, intimidation, cut hours, unspecified job titles, loss of seniority and much more with new management in place.

 

Sheraton continues its anti-union campaign – Alaska Daily News

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.

Read the rest of the article.