The Lookout Letter to the editor
Speak Out! Send Letters to

On Local 11 Hotel Grades, Garbage In Means Garbage Out

By Charlyce Bozzello

Unite Here Local 11's new COVID hotel grading system was just released, but it has already flunked the "smell test" ("Hotel Union Assigns Grades Based on COVID-19 'Guarantees,'" March
12, 2021).

The union purports to grade hotels based on "four key criteria...that relate to the safety and welfare of workers and the public."

But a closer look at these bogus "criteria" reveal that this grading system is really just a ploy to go after non-union hotels.

For instance, hotels aren't graded solely on "enforceable COVID-19 safety rights," "healthcare coverage" and "safe recall rights."

Receiving a "point" for having one of these criteria depends on if it was also "guaranteed in an agreement with workers" -- in other words, codified in a union contract.

But many non-unionized hotels not only have stringent safety measures in place, they offer arguably better pay and benefits than employees get under Local 11-negotiated contracts.

In fact, workers at hotels the union assigns an “F” grading to frequently leave positive reviews of their work environment.

Hotels in Los Angeles County have reopened under health safety guidelines established by the Los Angeles County Department of Health and numerous safety measures developed with Governor Newsom’s Office of Emergency Services and California’s Department of Public Health.

These guidelines include social distancing, mask wearing, temperature checks and guidelines for reporting COVID-19 infections.

They also apply to all hotels, not just ones with union contracts. (Local 11 lobbied against reopening hotels, miffed that it was not consulted by the county.)

It’s also notable that Local 11 had little regard for COVID safety protocols for much of 2020. The union was part of an “army of canvassers” that went door to door in Arizona, Pennsylvania, Nevada and Florida in the run up to the general election -- even though most unions and other advocacy groups steered clear of in-person canvassing out of concern for safety.

As for pay, let’s not forget it was Local 11 that lobbied to raise the minimum wage for hotel workers in LA County, but with a loophole that meant the union's own members were exempt from the wage hike.

Local 11 should be thrown in detention for its petty schoolyard grading system that only seeks to bully hotels that don’t see eye to eye with the union.

Charlyce Bozzello is the communications director for the Center for Union Facts.

Lookout Logo footer image Copyright 1999-2021 All Rights Reserved.