LOS ANGELES–(COMMERCIAL THREAD) – A labor dispute at the Mr. C Beverly Hills hotel entered its 14e months as UNITE HERE Local 11 alleges the company wasted months negotiating in bad faith on a first collective agreement for hotel housekeeping workers.
Housekeeping workers voted to unionize with Local 11 in an NLRB-sponsored election held in November 2019. The union was officially certified as a union representative for workers in July 2020 following a protected legal process in which hotel management challenged the eligibility of some workers to vote. The union quickly sought to enter into collective bargaining, but alleged that MC management had not come to the table to negotiate a first collective agreement in good faith. Workers seek fair wages, affordable health insurance, health and safety protections, and other benefits.
Through an unfair labor practice charge filed with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the union alleged that MC management engaged in bad faith tactics such as refusing to meet at meetings. hours or at reasonable intervals, failing to send authorized persons to negotiate on behalf of the company, engaging in “surface negotiations”, wasting months of time during which the parties could have resolved the issue. dispute. The charge is currently under investigation by a regional office of the NLRB.
The charge follows the October 2020 settlement of earlier charges against MC, which centered on a mass dismissal of employees in March in which the union alleged the company had chosen union supporters. While the company claimed the COVID-19 crisis was forcing it to proceed with layoffs, Local 11 alleged that Mr C discriminated against union supporters by proceeding with the layoffs and by denying workers recall rights. Of the 21 workers made redundant at one point, the names and photographs of 19 were on a pro-union leaflet distributed at the hotel. After conducting its own investigation, a regional NLRB office accepted the union’s allegations and authorized a complaint against the company. Under a settlement agreement settling the charges, Mr. C was required to assure each of the 19 fired workers that he would call them back when positions became available. The company also agreed to reinstate and pay thousands of back wages to an employee who the union said had suffered a separate act of discrimination.
Bob and Alex Ghassemieh are the majority owners of Mr. C Beverly Hills, and Alex Ghassemieh has raised senior equity for the hotel from family and friends, according to an article in the LA Business Journal. The Ghassemieh family is also the majority owner of First Credit Bank, headquartered in Los Angeles with $ 500 million in assets in 2019. The Ghassemiehs received a “return on equity” of $ 20.4 million from the loan of the Mr. C hotel in 2017, according to its prospectus, but failed to contract with housekeeping workers.
The property was also approved for a $ 1.5 million loan from the Taxpayer Paycheck Protection Program and did not disclose in response to inquiries from Local 11 whether it had used the money. for salary costs as expected by Congress.
UNITE HERE Local 11 is a union representing more than 32,000 southern California and Arizona hospitality workers who work in hotels, restaurants, universities, convention centers and airports.