The militant hotel workers union UNITE-HERE Local 11 is stalking the wedding registries of engaged couples who’ve scheduled their weddings and/or receptions at the Terranea Resort, in an attempt to persuade them to take their business elsewhere, the Los Angeles Times reported earlier this month:
“Congratulations on your engagement! I am sorry to say that nine women, employed or formerly employed at the Terranea Resort, came forward with allegations of sexual harassment and other misconduct of a sexual nature at the resort,” read the message, sent by an organizer for a labor union embroiled in a two-year feud with the resort.
The note, posted on the page where guests can RSVP, didn’t persuade the couple to cancel. But it — along with similar messages to other wedding couples and guests — sparked frantic calls to resort managers.
Labor-management negotiations aren’t tiddlywinks, but pulling innocent bridal parties into a labor dispute is a tactic that would strike reasonable people as wrong and over-the-line.
This tactic is another demonstration of just how far Local 11 will go in order to browbeat hotels into submission.
UNITE-HERE Local 11 has been trying to organize the Terranea Resort’s 1,000 employees since 2017. That is their legal right and Terranea management said it had no problem with its employees voting on whether to be represented by Local 11 in a secret ballot supervised by a third-party.
Hence Local 11’s unhappiness: the militant union opposes workers voting their preference in a secret ballot. Instead, UNITE-HERE is demanding Terranea management allow its organizers onto resort property to lobby employees to sign cards supporting representation by UNITE-HERE. If more than 50% of employees sign a card, Terranea must recognize Local 11 as their representative. At the same time, Local 11 wants Terranea management to accept a gag rule prohibiting them from providing its employees with arguments against Local 11 representation.
UNITE-HERE prefers these so-called card-check “neutrality” agreements because they are tailor-made for intimidation tactics Local 11 employs while hunting down employees to “persuade” them to sign a card. If Local 11 is willing to harass engaged couples, does anyone think they won’t and don’t go further in strong-arming hotel workers into signing a card? Local 11 is in the membership business, after all – organizing hotels puts a lot of dues money into the union’s coffers.
UNITE-HERE’s disturbing tactic of harassing engaged couples’ wedding plans has led to several cancellations, according to the LAT story:
“They have intimidated some groups into canceling events, which costs our employees hours and tips that they will never get back,” [resort President Terri Hack] said.
Tough luck for those employees – but this is about what’s best for Local 11’s financial well-being, not that of Terranea employees.
This is relevant to Anaheim because UNITE-HERE Local 11 is on a mission to be the political boss of Anaheim. It is responsible for Councilman Jose F. Moreno’s narrow 2016 council win and forms his political power base. Local 11 and its community organizing arm, OCCORD, spearheaded the adoption of by-district council elections. It’s chief, Ada Briceno, is now the chair of the Democratic Party of Orange County.
These are the sort of radical, ends-justifies-the-means tactics one can increasingly expect to see in Anaheim if the political influence of Local 11 and its allies – such as Councilman Moreno – continues to grow.