Starwood hotels in San Francisco announced that going forward, they will agree to allow Local 2 to move monies from one union trust fund to another in order to minimize any adverse effects that may result due to the fact that the unions failure to negotiate an agreement with the hotels has resulted in an underfunding of the employees Legal Fund.
Starwood hotels in San Francisco announced that going forward, they will agree to allow Local 2 to move monies from one union trust fund to another in order to minimize any adverse effects that may result due to the fact that the union’s failure to negotiate an agreement with the hotels has resulted in an underfunding of the employees’ Legal Fund.
“We are fully committed to reaching an agreement that is fair and equitable for our employees”
Last year, Local 2’s leadership unilaterally decided to transfer employer contributions from one employee trust fund – covering health and welfare – to a second trust fund for legal matters. This action violated the terms of the collective bargaining agreement made with Starwood Hotels and jeopardized employee access to legal aide.
The National Labor Relations Board issued a Complaint against Local 2 for this inappropriate action after Hyatt Hotels filed an Unfair Labor Practice charge. On January 18, 2011, Local 2 agreed to settle these charges by restoring the monies to the proper fund with interest to Hyatt.
“While Starwood could force Local 2 to immediately cease and desist from redirecting any more funds, it is our belief that doing so could jeopardize our employees’ ability to get the legal assistance they may need from what has become an underfunded trust,” said Richard Curiale, Chief Spokesperson for Starwood Hotels in San Francisco. “Therefore, we will allow Local 2 to transfer monies between employee benefit programs in order to minimize any risk to our employees.”
Despite the Federal Government’s citation, Local 2 has not restored the contributions made by Starwood nor has the union met with Starwood management since June 2010 to recommence negotiations for a new agreement.
“While we would have hoped that Local 2 would act in the best interest of its members, Union Leaders continue to take actions which put their members in jeopardy,” said Curiale. “In the absence of Local 2’s leadership, we are stepping in to help ensure that our employees who are in need are able to receive the legal aide they are entitled to.”
The contract between hotels and Local 2 expired in August 2009. A negotiating session has been scheduled for March 11.
“We are fully committed to reaching an agreement that is fair and equitable for our employees,” said Curiale. “Given our willingness to fix the mess they created, we hope that the union comes to the negotiating table with a fresh commitment to bargain in good faith and help us reach an end to this dispute.”