Attendees and people thinking about attending CAF are asking us for an update on the labor situation at the hotel and want to know what we have been doing in response.
First and foremost, we hope everyone knows that we take to heart the issues and concerns both locally and more broadly with respect to labor and the environment. LGC fully supports UNITE HERE’s efforts to form a union for the employees of the Long Beach Renaissance hotel. At the same time, we know it’s critical to convene this community to share best practices, discover innovative ideas, and forge new partnerships to build more resilient communities. This of course, has presented us with a challenge as we were already locked into the Renaissance Hotel at the time we learned of UNITE HERE’s struggle.
We know our community appreciates the importance of both of these issues, and we encourage all attendees to use this as an opportunity to find ways to support UNITE HERE and the employees of the Renaissance Long Beach hotel by engaging actively in this conversation, by communicating your position to hotel management, the media, your networks and by working to connect labor and our larger adaptation community. Given that information about this labor dispute was not shared with us at the time we scheduled CAF at the Renaissance Hotel, and we all have a lot invested in the Forum and the dialogue and community it involves, we hope everyone who is interested will join us in Long Beach.
In terms of an update on the labor conflict between UNITE HERE and the Renaissance Hotel, there has been no movement in the union’s effort to get the hotel to allow a “card check neutrality” process to move forward. Whether or not there a protest is happening during our event is uncertain as the union’s schedule is developed week by week. As we’ve been asked by a number of participants, we want to reiterate this is NOT a picket line by striking hotel staff, but a protest campaign organized by UNITE HERE. Attendees are of course welcome to join a protest if it is in fact happening.
In terms of what we are doing to advance this conversation, for the last couple of months we have been actively coordinating with representatives from UNITE HERE on a series of letters to Renaissance Hotel management, their ownership group, and Marriott corporate leads. These letters focus on detailing the ways in which the ongoing labor dispute (and the hotel’s decision to hide the labor dispute from us) has impacted our event and our community. We are further making the point that their actions have elevated fair labor as a topic of conversation in our event. We have asked for a sit down with hotel management while we are in long Beach in order to further reinforce our concerns and express our support for the workers of the hotel. We have also invited UNITE HERE to use a table at the convention center to share information and materials as well as have staff on hand who can answer questions any attendees might have.
If you are interested in lending your voice to these efforts and conversation there are a number of steps you might take.
- Send a letter to the Renaissance Long Beach Hotel Management explaining how the labor dispute has impacted your organization, and your community with respect to this event.. A letter template that you can personalize and send is available here.
- Whenever possible, patronize only Union endorsed hotels when you travel and attend conferences going forward – you can find up-to-date information on current boycotts and endorsed hotels at fairhotel.org.
- If you organize events, consider adopting UNITE HERE’s model protective language that protects your event from labor disputes, not just strikes.
- Engage with UNITE HERE during your stay in Long Beach to learn more about the ongoing labor dispute and how you can support all of their efforts. If you want to connect with a local representative please contact Carly Kirchen (firstname.lastname@example.org ) or Norberto Lopez (email@example.com).
We hope this helps to both clarify the situation and provides some insight into what we have been doing internally in response to this situation. We welcome further questions and of course encourage you to continue to engage on this topic while we are in Long Beach.