Hotel Maya filed a complaint with federal authorities accusing the union that represents many of its workers of stalling, intimidating and misleading during negotiations over a new contract, the company announced Friday.
Hotel Maya, one of several hotels that in the midst of contentious labor negotiations with Unite Here Local 11, said in its complaint to the National Labor Relations Board that the union is “bargaining in bad faith.”
The Downtown Long Beach hotel announced the filing nine days after Maya workers joined the largest single-day labor action in the region since work stoppages began in early July.
In its announcement, Hotel Maya says its leadership has repeatedly requested dates for bargaining discussions directly with the union, which has “flatly refused” and ignored communications. The most recent attempt on the hotel’s part was made on Sept. 28, according to spokesperson Cameron Andrews. The action, according to the hotel, violates the National Labor Relations Act, which requires meeting at reasonable times.
“In good faith and in earnest, Hotel Maya has waited and waited for Unite Here Local 11 to agree to meet to discuss our contract,” General Manager Greg Guthrie said in a statement. “Instead they have made every effort to mislead their members into believing that Hotel Maya doesn’t care about our employees or doesn’t want to negotiate a new contract. Nothing could be further from the truth.”
While the union has made a contract proposal to cover hotels across the region, Andrews said the hotel is not part of the broader negotiations, opting instead to deal with Unite Here directly.
The union for its part did not deny its refusal to sit down with Maya leadership. Rather, the union has conditions that have yet to be met.
“Hotel Maya brutalized their workers. They need to pay medical bills and apologize and stop using violence,” union co-president Kurt Petersen said in an email, alluding to an incident at the hotel in August when four workers were injured while picketing during a wedding ceremony. The parties involved have offered conflicting accounts of what happened.
“They have done none of those things,” Petersen said.
In an email Friday, Andrews told the Business Journal the hotel’s “primary concern is for the safety and well being of its guests and employees. Since that is a legal matter, we continue to follow the direction of the Long Beach Police Department.”
Since the hotel worker contract expired at the end of June, workers have held sporadic strikes and rallies across the region. An Aug. 5 rally at Hotel Maya devolved into a brawl between picketing workers, security and wedding guests.
In a video released by Unite Here, security and wedding guests could be seen using temporary fencing to physically move picketers. At one point, an unknown man attacked picketers, punching one in the head and injuring three others before running off.
As a result of the incident, as well as two others at hotels in Dana Point and Santa Monica, workers were joined by elected officials in calling for a boycott of the hotels.
On Aug. 7, the union filed its own unfair labor practice charge against the industry’s Coordinated Bargaining Group, alleging the hotels “committed and/or condoned violence against employees.”
In the wake of the violent event, Andrews says the hotel has had several groups cancel events, claiming Unite Here called directly to urge them not to do business with Hotel Maya. The actions have led to reduced hours for employees, Andrews said.