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UNITE HERE Wins a Victory Over Unfair Labor Practices at Anchorage Sheraton

It’s always nice to report good news, and today’s news was really good. The Mudflats has had ongoing coverage of the protests against the Anchorage Hilton and the Anchorage Sheraton, and on Friday a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction against Remington Hospitality (which demonstrates none.)

~The President of the AFL-CIO, Richard Trumka in Alaska protesting Remington’s illegal treatment of Anchorage workers  in August of 2010.

U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Burgess’s 34-page injunction was issued late Friday. Among other items, it includes provisions requiring Remington Lodging and Hospitality to restore paid lunch breaks and employer-paid health care and reduce housekeepers’ daily quota of cleaned rooms.

Remington is the Texas-based operator of the Sheraton hotel in Anchorage. This injunction came over five months after a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Administrative Law Judge found in favor of the obvious – that the hotel had violated numerous federal labor laws, trying to squash its workers’ union, UNITE HERE Local 878.

What this means now, said AFL-CIO Alaska President Vince Beltrami at a press conference today,  is that the management of the Sheraton will now have to “admit they were wrong, and go back to when this all started, before they started breaking the law.”  The injunction will require the hotel to restore the terms and conditions of employment as they existed prior to the hotel’s unlawful declaration of impasse in union negotiations. This victory comes after almost three years of struggle by Sheraton workers to protect their benefits, their working conditions and their union from the illegal and unfair practices of Remington.

The victory also comes because of appointments to the NLRB last month, which increased the number of board members to the point where the previously crippled board could now make some actual decisions. Alaskan labor organizations who supported Lisa Murkowski (write-in R) over Scott McAdams (D) in the 2010 senate race must be used to that bitter taste in their mouths by now, so the latest pill to swallow shouldn’t really come as any surprise. The “free and unshackled” Lisa Murkowski, who now supposedly isn’t tied to Republican dictates and is no longer a toady of Mitch McConnell, is one of the 39 Republican senators who signed a letter opposing those appointments and vowing to join a lawsuit opposing them.

How’s that free and unshackled Lisa working out for you guys?


To date, there have been over 40 unfair labor practice charges against Sheraton management, 2o of which are still outstanding.  Remington has even filed two meritless lawsuits – one against the union and  one against the NLRB itself. The ongoing boycott of both the Sheraton and the Hilton will continue, as will the frequent picket lines and marches, and an overwhelming amount of support from the Anchorage community. We don’t like to see our residents, who do some of the hardest and most thankless work in the hospitality industry treated unjustly and illegally by some outside goons from Texas. No, we don’t.

Local 878 represents over 1,400 hospitality workers from all across the state of Alaska.

~One of the Sheraton’s illegally fired workers, who will be happy to begin negotiations again. Marvin Jones, President of Local 878 stands behind her.

~Pastor Glenn Peterson

Pastor Glenn Peterson from Central Lutheran Church spoke passionately today in favor of the workers and their rights. “Jesus,” he said, “is on the side of the workers. This is about greed, and the Lord of the church is against greed. It is one of the seven deadly sins, and we should all speak out against it.” He went on to say that if Remington was listening, he hoped that they would learn a lesson – “respect your workers.”

~Alaska AFL-CIO President Vince Beltrami addresses the media



9 Responses to “UNITE HERE Wins a Victory Over Unfair Labor Practices at Anchorage Sheraton”
  1. Zach Roberts says:

    Anyone get video of that rally?

  2. Krubozumo Nyankoye says:

    Venez vous tous, les bons ouvriers
    j’ai de bonnes nouvelles à vous dire!
    Comment va ce bonne vieux syndicat?
    Je te dirais qu’il est là pour durer!

    De lequel le côté es tu?
    De lequel le côté es tu?
    De lequel le côté es tu?
    De lequel le côté es tu?

    Mon papa était un mineur
    Et je suis le fils d’un mineur
    Je resterai fidèle au syndicat
    Jusqu’à ce que chaque bataille soit gagnée

    Ils disent dans le Comté de Harlan
    Qu’il n’y a personne de neutre ici
    Vous, êtes vous un syndicaliste?
    Ou, vous êtes, un voyou de la bande à J.H. Blair?

    Oh, comment les ouvriers peuvent-ils vous supporter?
    Oh, dites-moi comment vous le pouvez?
    Êtes vous une vieille croûte?
    Ou serez-vous des hommes?

    Ne faites pas de boulot pour les patrons
    N’écoutez pas leurs mensonges
    Nous les pauvres gens, nous n’aurons aucune chance
    Sans que nous nous organisions

    Apologies to all, I could not resist.

  3. flex gunship pailn says:

    my mother was a member of 878 for 29 years . she liked a good union fight . R.I.P. mom.

  4. Zyxomma says:

    I get a little misty whenever there’s a victory of any sort, anywhere, for UNITE-HERE. This union was, once upon a time, the International Ladies Garment Workers Union. The ILGWU, yes the one that had the radio and TV commercials advising us to “look for the union label.” That ILGWU label is in most of the clothing I own, because most of my clothes are vintage.

    I never had the chance to join a union, but my father (RIP) belonged to several, my mother (RIP) to one, my sister and brother-in-law (RIP) to yet another. I’m a union supporter all the way, and am thrilled to read of this victory. Any good news coming from Alaska is welcome; so much of the news is dire. Thanks for the post, and the photos.

  5. mike from iowa says:

    Alaska may well be drug kicking and screaming into the 21st century yet. I wondered what was going on and this is well worth waiting for. Many thanks for the update.

  6. Elstun W. Lauesen says:

    I will have “Don’t Blame Me, I Voted For Scott McAdams” Bumperstickers available. No charge on the condition that you put it on your car, bike, backpack or otherwise display it! Lisa Murkowski’s complicity with the Rat-Bastards is no surprise to us McAdams supporters. We tried to warn our colleagues who fell for the ‘Fear of Joe’ crap.

    This is truly good news. Thanks to the Mudflats for reporting on the ongoing campaign to improve the working conditions of Hotel Workers in Alaska.

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