What The Hell Is Wrong With The Sheraton Anchorage Hotel & Spa?

by Dmitri Iglitzin

Dmitri Iglitzin

 

Negotiations for a union contract are not customarily conducted through advertisements in a daily newspaper.   Which is why readers of last Sunday’s Anchorage Daily News were doubtless surprised to see a half-page advertisement by the Sheraton Anchorage Hotel & Spa that wasn’t touting the virtues of the Sheraton’s facilities or bargain-basement off-season prices.   Instead, the ad was an “open letter” to Marvin Jones, President of UNITE HERE Local 878, the union that represents the Sheraton’s housekeepers, bell staff, banquet workers, and other hourly employees.

In this letter, the Sheraton, which the union accused more than a year ago of violating federal law by refusing to bargain in good faith for  a successor agreement, now promised Local 878 that it would “negotiate a contract” if the union agreed to permit a “decertification election” to occur within 30 days.

It was a different kind of a pitch, made by a different kind of employer.   How different?

Well, for over a year now, the Anchorage Sheraton, a/k/a the Remington Hotel Corporation, and its owners, Ashford TRS Nickel LLC, a division of Ashford Hospitality Trust, a publicly traded real estate investment trust, have been engaged in a vicious anti-union campaign against both the hotel’s workers and their union.   According to the enforcement arm of National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the federal agency which oversees private sector labor relations, the Sheraton has, during this time, committed the following unlawful acts, among others:

  • Bargained with no intention of reaching an agreement;
  • Refused to meet to bargain with the union at reasonable times/and or places;
  • Unlawfully changed the terms and conditions of employment for workers, including increasing the number of rooms housekeeping employees are expected to clean each shift from 15 to 17, ceasing to pay employees for meal breaks and making employees pay to eat in the employee cafeteria;
  • Unlawfully subcontracted out bargaining unit work (the job of driving the hotel van);
  • Fired  four workers who, on February 2, 2010, exercised their federally-protected right to express their opinions about the hotel’s labor relations policies by handing out leaflets and handbills in front of the hotel;
  • Interrogated workers regarding their support for the union;
  • Told workers that they would be fired if they refused to sign a petition withdrawing support for the union; and ultimately
  • Unlawfully declared on July 2, 2010, that the Sheraton was now a “non-union” hotel.

The Sheraton has also allegedly stripped workers of their union healthcare plan and numerous other benefits; told workers that they would get many of these benefits restored if they throw out the union; installed surveillance cameras throughout the hotel and spied on the workers in the employee lunchroom; and prohibited union representatives from having access to the hotel.

The enforcement arm of the NLRB, after reaching the conclusions noted above, initiated a prosecution of the Anchorage Sheraton.  That case began in August of 2010 in front of a federal administrative law judge and is likely to continue at least until the end of this year.

In response, the Sheraton has only ramped up its aggressive attack on the union, its workers, and anyone and anything that the Sheraton perceives as supporting them.  Most recently, the Sheraton has taken the following, truly remarkable steps:

  • It subpoenaed Paul Abowd, a former journalist with Labor Notes, a magazine and website that styles itself as “the voice of union activists,” who knows nothing about the Sheraton-Local 878 dispute, demanding that he fly to Anchorage from Detroit, Michigan, to testify about a story he wrote about UNITE HERE (Local 878’s parent entity) for the magazine in October of 2009;
  • It subpoenaed representatives of the Anchorage Hilton, its cross-town rival, to testify unwillingly regarding wholly unrelated actions by Local 878 in negotiations with that hotel;
  • It sued Local 878 in federal court, claiming that Local 878 has defamed it and has unlawfully attempted to coerce potential customers of the hotel from using the hotel’s services (actions otherwise known as lawfully publicizing a labor dispute and engaging in a lawful boycott); and most recently, and extraordinarily,
  • It sued the National Labor Relations Board itself, asserting that the NLRB, by finding merit in Local 878’s many claims against the hotel, has itself violated the law.

Local 878 is not, of course, taking any of this lying down.  For every new unlawful action the Sheraton has taken, such as suing it in federal court, Local 878 has filed a new charge with the federal government, asserting that this action, too, violates federal labor law.   Local 878’s members continue to appear at the ongoing federal trial and testify regarding the harassment and intimidation to which the hotel has subjected them.  The judge in that case continues to listen to the evidence, objectively, and will in all likelihood issue a verdict that will reveal to the world at large the truth of the Sheraton’s unlawful and outrageous misconduct.

So it is no wonder that the Sheraton, having failed to gain any support from journalists, other hotels, or the NLRB, and no doubt anticipating (correctly) that it will not gain any advantage from its two pending federal court lawsuits, is using the power of its purse to pressure Local 878 and its members to give up.  It took out its half-page ad because the simple truth is that it is losing the battle against its own workers, and it is getting desperate.

But Local 878 and its members are not going to give up just because the Sheraton takes out an ad in a newspaper calling upon it to agree to an election now, while the Sheraton’s reign of terror over the workers is still in full swing.  Local 878 and its members are not going to give up just because the Sheraton has the money to take out a half-page ad, while the union’s resources have been strained by the need to defend itself against the Sheraton’s many unlawful actions.

Local 878 and its members will not, in fact, give up at all.  It is the Sheraton, instead, which needs to change its behavior and remedy its unfair labor practices.  Once that happens, housekeeping employees will once more be expected to clean only 15 rooms per shift, employees will once more be paid for meal breaks and be able to eat for free in the employee cafeteria, the van driving work will once again be performed by Sheraton employees, and – most importantly – workers will no longer be afraid to express their honest opinions, to each other and to the public, about their workplace and their employer.

Then, and only then, can a new contract be negotiated between Local 878 and the Sheraton.  And that’s something that no amount of paid advertising can change.

Dmitri Iglitzin is a partner with the firm of Schwerin Campbell Barnard Iglitzin & Lavitt, LLP, in Seattle, Washington, a frequent commentator on matters related to the labor movement, and legal counsel to UNITE HERE Local 878.

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15 Responses

  1. Understandable that this would be a one-sided letter, and Im all about hearing both sides. But on behalf of a labor supporter, Im saddened that this is the classless representation of a union.

    First, cursing in the title? That doesnt say youre upset, it says you lack the tact. While the Sheraton may be doing some bad stuff, theyre also not slinging foul language for the world to read. Really Mr Iglitzin, lets show the corporate world that the middle-class worker has a better vocabulary.

    Second, its a corporation, so naturally it does things in the name of proit on a regular basis. And if its so bad, we should be able to pick out bad things without sounding like we are digging for points to make. Or make erronious ones. Like 878 no longer represents the employees as CB. Majority signed a petition. And the letter was just asking for a vote. So if we are going to win, what do we have to fear? Lets just let the people vote already! As a worker, Id rather have an election, let us choose, than have the NRLB step in with 10(j). Thats not a win for labor. Democratic vote is a win.

    But why make things up? Like that the hotel took benefits away and said theyd give them back if… Thats not what happened at all. They changed to a better mor comprehensive package. Not to mention, healthcare for associates is free, meanwhile managers pay upward of $255 a month. Which is a stark difference between, say, the pension fund, in which it was moved to the critical status UH fund (it was fully funded in state) yet the employees of UH are on a different plan which IS fully funded (showing its not a market issue! why does the rank-and-file get the short end of the stick?).

    Surveillence cameras are only on the first floor and by executive offices enterences. There are no extra cameras on the floors. I knew a security guard that attested to that.

    The 2 people you mention they ccalled to testify, seem like witnesses to precident or experts in their field. Ive read the reports and They mention hilton going through the same issues, so theyre probably making a case that theres calculated efforts to damage business not unique to the property.

    And come on, 878 is a subsidiary of UH, a multi-billion dollar organization. Like the bake sale they had was total PR to look grassroots. I mean, even the healthcare they offer is for-profit. They can more than afford a page in the news. Afterall, they could afford a blow up rat, so maybe they should have put their money to better things… And if the workers still supported the union so stridently, theyd still pay their dues right? To help the cause?

    Employees arent afraid to talk to each other about it. Though with the high turnover, most came in a little before or after the union was removed. So a lot of people just dont have the proper information. But like all companies, of course theyre not supposed to talk to the press. It was in the employee handbook for years, just like any company. I bothered to look.

    Theres plenty of things to throw at the Hotel to demean and go after it in court. On behalf of labor supporting workers, have a little more class and publish something with just facts vs meant to stir people up with emotions. Youre insulting your own contituents. Theres plenty to call out on. This just makes the cause seem like extreamist propaganda.

    Come on, lets show a little more class. Working class doesnt mean lower-class.

    • The word “Hell” in this reference is more of an exclamation rather than a curse word. To begin with missy, you should spell correctly too otherwise you look foolish yourself. For starters, employees at the Sheraton had poor advice from management to take up an illegal vote to reject Unite HERE 878 as collective bargaining agents for Sheraton Anchorage employees. They should have turned to the NLRB for support. Employees admitted they were coerced to sign the decertification petition or face losing their jobs. They made their declarations in a Federal Law Court. Good luck in your lies.

  2. Ashford Hospitality Trust and Remington Hotels, which are basically run as the same company, are run by the Bennett Klan and have a history of abusing our court systems when they have their backs up against the wall. The company was started when the current Chairman filed for bankruptcy in Texas and left his partners out to dry while enriching himself at the same time. Then he used taxpayers to assist him in gaining ownership of distressed hotels after the Texas Savings and Loan scandal. So, this company really started on the backs of taxpayers and corporate wellfare. Then after suing some Japanese partners they finally settled and got ownership of a few hotels that allowed them to start an IPO. Nothing was from hard work so it is no wonder they do not understand the workers point of view. They have abused the courts and our systems.
    Just last year they issued several subpoenas to those posting online in support of equal rights, women rights, and those who have exposed their radical religious and political views. That is their warped style of business. After their Mezz Loan fiscal in 2009, the first thing they did was file a federal lawsuit to take the focus away from their silly mistakes instead of face the fire of shareholders.
    Recent discovery was uncovered in one of Ashford’s lawsuits in Texas, that showed how they attempted to work behind the scenes and away from the National Labor Relations Board trying to uncover union activity on behalf of their private company Remington Hotels. The lawsuit was filed under the guise of a trademark infringement case and was an obvious SLAPP lawsuit to hush shareholder disagreement. This frivolous lawsuit was so bad their high powered legal team actually dropped them and the case was settled after the court realized their outrages claims had no merit and Free Speech was protected. This arrogant attempt by the CEO has caused an uproar with shareholders and has spun several websites that track how they have attempted to donate to political and relgious causes that are directly against the best interests of shareholders, employees and more important hotel guests. SEC and IRS complaints have been filed regarding the relationship between Ashford, Remington, and various right wing religious and political groups they have supported on behalf of Ashford. Some may be in violation of Texas and Federal laws. The latest crazy revelations has been the discovery that the CEO’s founded a secret society that calls themselves the Association of True Hospitality with 6 other religious right wing hotel operators. Their mission is to save all non Christians that stay at their hotels. It makes one wonder what type of Christianity these guys practice that they have gone on the record as saying that they will close a hotel before they allow unions and their goal is to safe all guests that stay at their hotels. Save from what?. It is less about what makes business sense and more about pride for the CEO and Chairman.
    This gives you an insight on what nuts these guys are and at what lengths they will go to hurt shareholders, guests, and employees for their own pride. But, they do it in the name of GOD!
    It is estimated they have spent over $15 million in litigation efforts in the last two years trying to dig themselves out of the huge hole they are in. It will only be a matter of time before major investors, institutions, and even hotel brands will start to shy away from them because of the backlash that has started to occur at the other hotels and for being associated with them.. It almost makes you wonder if they are run by a bunch of college kids with no business experience.

  3. Managers pay up to $255 a month in insurance? People being subpoenaed for opposing the CEO of a public company? Trying to save all Mormons, Islamics, Catholics, and Jews? What a joke of a company! Those of use who do not believe in hotel unions realize now how they get started! If they treat their own management team like that no wonder the hourly workers are supporting unions. Tea Party supporters and Alaskan Taxpayers should rally against companies like this who dump their employees onto state welfare lines. The Alaskan Taxpayers are the ones that end up with the bill by paying for their workers health insurance as they flood our emergency rooms and with food stamps if they live in poverty.
    What on earth is Ashford Hospitality Trust and Remington Hotels thinking? Don’t they have a crisis management team or a PR firm to give them sound advice? Ashford Hospitality Trust already owns several union hotels that are “profitable” according to the CEO. So this can’t be about Ashford Hospitality’s financial health or their ability to make a profit for shareholders. Why would they keep paying such high dividends if the company was hurting? The Ashford CEO has assured shareholders time after time that the future looks bright and never once has shared with shareholders that trouble was in the waters at any of the hotels regarding unions. It is his fiduciary obligation to share this information if he once felt it would harm shareholder value. The CEO even awarded himself and all the Ashford Hospitality Officers huge stock bonus’ this year which some of them cashed in for huge windfalls when the stock hit a high recently. So, surely the company can’t claim it is hurting from union activity and can apparently afford to negotiate a contract that is just as generous as was given to the company officers.
    It is obvious to everyone what all this fuss is really all about. This is all about the pride of the CEO and Chairman regarding their personal affairs and with their private management company Remington Hotels. As huge Tea Party Supporters, it will be embarrassing to them personally and politically if they allow the union to win in Sarah Palin’s home state. Those who follow the donations and support of the Ashford Hospitality (aka Remington Hotels) CEO and Chairman have exposed they are huge Tea Party, anti NAACP, anti woman, anti Islam, and anti gay supporters. They have shared with their Remington Hotels management team for years that they would never tolerate any unions at their Remington managed hotels because that is how they sell their services to mom and pop hotel owners looking to cut costs when looking for a management company. So losing this battle would be a huge blow to their egos and their religious crusade which they use to recruit other management contracts. The only logical reason Ashford Hospitality Trust is on the name of these lawsuits (which is wasting shareholder profits) rather than making Remington Hotel foot any bills on these outrages lawsuits over the last several years is so the CEO and Chairman can do this without spending their own money from Remington Management Company. Many shareholders are perplexed and have been asking for years now what all these lawsuits have to do with Ashford Hospitality Trust both monetarily and perceptional.
    No STAR report has ever shown a guest or meeting planner “ Not” staying at a hotel because of a union. Leisure business travelers could care less since it’s all about location. Corporate travelers also could care less and not one RFP has a “union“ question on it for corporate travel rates. Rather, it is the other way around, unions only book at hotels that are union and those who are supporters of unions. From airlines flight crews, government groups, to major sporting teams. What hotel is in such great shape financial to turn away this type of base business?
    Remington Hotels Management company just seems to be an inferior management company and is not equipped to manage a union hotel. Former corporate employees and managers have already shared stories within the industry and the industry is filled with “former“ employees who do not speak highly of their company days with them. A recent Texas civil lawsuit accidentally exposed Ashford Hospitality’s strategy to protect Remington Hotels from unions. Which is why Ashford Hospitality attempted to settle so quickly before the information was released to the public. Not to mention the length Ashford Hospitality’s CEO and Chairman will go to protect their private company and friends as exposed in this failed lawsuit.
    Once again, this all just seems more like sour grapes from the CEO and Chairman because they now have to defend to Ashford Hospitality Trust shareholders “how and why” they picked their own private management company to run this hotel and how now their workers don’t like their management style. I can’t imagine this would have happened with a more diverse modern management company with more experience or even a management company that has a more positive track record with employees. The Starwood Brand and other brands that Ashford Hospitality has relationships with must be watching this closely. Remington Hotels had a very well publicized situation at a landmark hotel in Cincinnati when they took over management of that hotel years back. Their employees revolted back then also since Remington dropped all of their insurance and allegedly left several ill people out in the woods. Many of them with 20 to 30 years with the hotel. Back then, Remington Hotels pulled all their resources to this hotel and forced them to live in the hotel for weeks with instructions to not leave until they convince the employees not to unionize and share how bad things would be if they did. The stories from these “union busters”, how they treated their female and minority employees, and the extremely poor track record of diversity within Remington Hotels is what has driven much of the anti Ashford Hospitality Movement today under the current CEO and Chairman. Shareholders are rightfully fearful the current CEO and Chairman are not fit to manage in today’s diverse corporate environment. Not to mention the incredible lengths they have gone to keep everyone quiet by litigation efforts. Remember, this is all coming from an alleged Christian Business and on behalf of GOD! SCARY!

    The union should start to play hardball with Ashford Hospitality and the current CEO and President. They are arrogant enough to continue litigation efforts until someone stops them first. Shareholders should go after them both as Officers and personally. Tie them up with litigation just as they have used this same strategy towards others. It is all about pride for them with absolutely no care for how this damages the company long term. The Chairman and board of directors should also be sued for allowing this to go on this long and not protecting shareholders as independent. They are just along for the free stock have not protected shareholders from these types of situations and have now opened themselves up to litigation. Ashford Hospitality Trust will continue to subpoena and harass anyone who speaks out against them. So the union and shareholders should do the same and go after all of Ashford Hospitality Trust and Remington Hotels employees one at a time from both their corporate offices to their hotels. Use the same strategy against them back. An eye for an eye should be the motto. The union and shareholders should give them a taste of their own medicine in litigation. Put the CEO and Chairman on the witness stand and let the world see what hypocrites they are as alleged Christian business leaders.
    This whole Alaska mess smells like a class action lawsuit in the making.

  4. First, Thanks to the blog owner for posting alternative views- I was surprised that my post didnt get thrown out. So kudos. After all, whoever is right will be right in the end, so what fear is there in fair debate? So thank you.

    Id like to point out that the employees voted the union out. Just because the union held a rally doesn’t mean that the employees were the ones orchestrating it. And the Union is not the employees as the press just assumes- this is not a right-to-work state and to work at the Hotel, it was MANDATORY to become a fee-paying member. There was no choice. Id be interested to hear how many Sheraton employees are continuing to pay their fees voluntarily “for the cause.” 65% of workers said “no thanks.” What you hear about reps harassing workers is 100% true, I know, I saw it. They would badger and degrade people, not just those that didn’t agree with them, but just to make a show and to try to pit people against each other. Employees didn’t even want to go on breaks anymore or eat in the cafeteria because they didn’t want to get targeted and harassed. The first question was, “are the union reps there?” and then “what’s for dinner?” People wanted to support the 878, we wanted to have the protection of the Union, but the reps were so rude and aggressive to the point they seemed like insane extremists. If they just stuck to simple facts and not sensationalism and resorting to low blows, maybe people would still want them there. Id even like to see a respectable union group come in and offer the workers good services. If its fair and respectable, I think theyd be open to it since negotiating with a large company is difficult. But 878 has just become a joke, and I wouldnt want to be seen with them, let alone pay them money.

    Also, the previous reply’s blaming Remington for flooding ERs with welfare patients is an extreme fallacy and totally ridiculous. The health and welfare plan that the company switched the workers too is comparable to the Union plan, and even more inclusive with additional benefits. The workers don’t even have to pay for their medical, same as before, and the benefit of additional perks. Again, if the plan with the Union were better, maybe Id support it! But they sat and lied to our faces that the new plan was murder (Jessica’s word), and that it was totally horrible, yet they wouldn’t give any numbers because I doubt they’d even read the Aetna plan, and claimed after stating they were proud of my “martyred coworkers” that they couldnt even tell me what the copays would be because it would get them fired. Baloney, they just didnt know. Just like the lawyer, apparently if you put “allegedly” in front of even the most outlandish statements, you’re no longer guilty of libel and slander.

    While “shareholder” makes big statements about extremist religious views of Remington, I guarantee, there’s no anti-Semitic movements at the Sheraton. “AshyWikileaks” says they’re out to get all Catholics, Mormons, Muslims and Jews, etc. Yet many on the managerial staff- the General Manager, Rooms Division Manager, and Ops Manager included- are Catholic or Mormon! A good deal of the management team has been there for years, pre-Remington, and, as a former employee, I never even heard mention of the company’s religious leanings outside of that there’s no porn pay-per-view. So even if in other cities this ridiculousness is happening, its not happening at Sheraton Anchorage. Its hospitality standard, regardless, to not talk about religion, politics, etc, anyhow. And religious views have nothing to do with this case, its just more baseless fear mongering and sensationalism meant to try to stir emotions. But what its making us sound like is nut jobs.

    “AshyWikileaks” claims this is all a big Tea Party conspiracy. Once again, can anyone talk about the facts around the case instead of going off on bizarre tangents? The Tea Party didn’t gain its notoriety or even its name until late Feb of 2009, while this dispute between the union and hotel started with negotiations back in 2008. Big political/religious agenda conspiracy? Come on, this is about two money-making organizations. The NRLB, after all, only steps in to defend commerce, not worker’s rights or unions. Worker’s rights are only defended because they affect commerce, Labor unions the same, and, they’ll even fight the rights of companies, because its ultimate goal is the defense of commerce.

    People subpoenaed for opposing the company? The Union lawyer claims the company maliciously subpoenaed the Hilton staff, but what’s malicious about a subpoena? To get the subpoena, there has to be reason, and its not a freaking torture session, you come sit in a boring court room and answer some questions about stuff you know and then leave. At worse you get a trip to Anchorage or a day off from work. Besides, it would make perfect sense if you’ve read any of the writs in the tortuous loss of business claims, etc as a precedence that the Union is purposely trying to harm the economy sand state of commerce. Which, if you’ve bothered to read the National Labor Relations Act, the purpose of the NLRB is not to protect workers or unions or companies, but to protect COMMERCE. Logically showing a precedent for union actions purposely harming business is a pretty smart defense, and if they want to argue it and they’re in the wrong, let them argue it needlessly! What are we so scared of if its protected behavior? And while Hilton may be in the Sheraton’s OSAT, it’s hardly a “rival,” and was under boycott just as Sheraton was, and they bring up the parallel approaches to show precedent that it’s a strategic bad faith bargaining attempt and targeted. It’s a smart defense

    Is the NLRB showing bias against the company? It’s very possible. Any one with Google can look up the NLRB investigators and read that the one who investigated the ULPs is a Facebook friends with other unions and 878s own president. How does that show a lack of bias? I was a worker contacted by an NLRB lawyer who did not tell me she was the prosecutor against the company, but rather said she was an unbiased representative of the government (if you’re unbiased, you’re an investigator, but she’s a prosecutor, which makes her very biased!) who doesn’t favor the union or the company. I had to actually ask her if she is an investigator or a prosecutor. While she wasn’t representing the union, she was arguing their claim in court. And while no legal misdeed was done in her not identifying her side, even a most partisan party would agree that’s pretty underhanded. The company had over 700 pages in negotiating notes and one of the union reps even answered in court that he didn’t bother responding to Remington’s attempts to negotiate. Yet Ahearn threw out the bad-faith bargaining charge. Id say that’s biased. Again, why not just fight fairly and do it based on facts if the company is so wrong.

    The contract offered by the Unite Here CB rep was outrageous as far as health and welfare and it would benefit the workers and the company to stay away. The proposal included up-ing 48% company contributions. If we want to talk underhanded ethics, try looking into the 990 forms of Unite Here and its related entities (878 being one of their subsidiaries). Being someone who doesn’t just take aggravated words for truth, I’ve looked into all these things. I Googled the NLRB investigator and searched him out on Facebook to see who was on his friends list instead of taking a company person’s word on it. I pulled IRS forms. I read reports by non-profit agencies. Every statement I found, I questioned. I wanted to think it was just bull, that the GM was just seeking a big career win. The truth is, even the most liberal, union-supporting businessman would see what bad business Unite Here is.

    It just amazes me with plenty of ways to catch a company even naturally of violations, that the lawyer makes things up. He’s not guilty of libel by saying “allegedly” that the hotel “stripped” workers of their benefits and said they wont give them back unless… That’s not at all what happened. As soon as the plans switched it was an immediate change over, no one was ever without their health insurance and there was no threats about it. The GM found a better healthcare plan through well-known providers, Aetna. That’s totally fabricated that workers were so terribly stripped of insurance. And the best part is how the reps sat in the cafeteria and told workers that if they took the company’s insurance, they’d be murdering their coworkers. I’m not kidding. I believe “legally murdering families” is the phrase they used. Its one thing if you want to catch some legal charge of not notifying the union or whatnot, but there’s no need to make things up just to make it all more sensational. This is what I’m saying, when you make it sensational, all the sane supporters start saying, oh come on, just represent the facts! Further, the reps also lied to employees and told them that the prices of the insurance would be astronomical, yet if you asked them even for a number, they’d say they couldn’t divulge that information here or they’d get in trouble and you’d have to go to the Union office (how very convenient). Meanwhile they’d tell you how proud they were of the four people who were fired for being such martyrs for the cause, but ask for an actual fact, and they wouldn’t dare tell you.

    Just to further the double standard by reps, and show how they made patsies of good people like Troy and Lucy, Jones moved the pension funds from adequately funded here IN-STATE to New York where its now critical and not expected to recover for seven years. The previous year it only squeaked by acceptably because of a bailout act. What’s better? Pull the 990 forms. Guess who doesn’t have to worry about their dwindling pensions? Union employees. Because they have a separate fund for their pension, which isn’t in critical status, showing it’s not the market but mismanagement of the fund. Who manages the fund? A group called the Fund Administrators. The Fund Administrators 100% owns a for-profit company called Alico Services. You can look it up. Sound familiar? Alico Services is a subsidiary of Amalgamated Life Insurance Company. The fund Administrators charge over 35 million in fees every year on the fund (remember the fund is money from workers and their employers). The fund Administrators is technically a not-for profit, but it is 100% owned by Alico, a for-profit. If Amalgamated Life sounds unfamiliar, look up its board members. At the time the fund was moved, the board members on all areas were also Union employees, often Directors. And Unite Here states in an attachment to its 990 that it owns 45% the Amalgamated Bank, which also shares board members. If this is all sounding confusing, that’s the point. ALLEGEDLY, Marvin Jones, 878 president, moved the workers’ pension out of their home state and into a fund that allegedly is non profit, but is serviced by a non-profit that charges the workers’ and employers’ money millions, then could allegedly become an asset of Alico and allegedly an asset of Amalgamated Life and allegedly pay out over $300,000 to the board members who could be Union heads who also happen to own 4.5 billion in assets of the Amalgamated Bank. Why make your fund into critical then? Because they make money off charging it. And still make money of the fund. And it doesn’t hurt their retirement. And they know rank-and-file workers are too busy fighting for food on the table now to worry much about the future. What’s Marvin Jones Allegedly get? Becomes a trustee of the fund and stands to make the company a LOT of money. Allegedly.

    Once again, though, we’re given extremist emotional baloney instead of perfectly good facts. These aren’t facts, they’re angry, poorly formulated outbursts. Instead of talking about the facts of the case, outlandish statements about Ashford are being made without any reference to the current case. So Ashford has a history of going after unions? big deal. Unite Here’s hotel workers rising campaign is designed to strong arm companies, regardless of if they’re union or anti-union, UH also has a history of pink sheeting its own employees. Fear mongering was every day in the cafeteria at Sheraton, and not by the employer. I personally saw property that was defaced. Union supporters would even pee on the GMs door or next to staff rooms, or try to break into the executive offices. While it may not have been Marvin Jones pulling down his pants to stick it to the man, these were the petty attacks of 878’s supporters. Did the company put a blow up gorilla in front of the union building? No, but that didn’t stop Jones from putting a clear racial attack of the Latin GM in front of the hotel. The sickest part, is watching people rally behind it. And the company view has nothing to do with the worker’s signing a decertification petition. Lawyers can harken till the end of time about the legitimacy of it. But just have an election and find out. I know the people who signed it. Why is the union so afraid of a democratic vote?

    But what do I know? I just do laundry.

  5. It’s nice to see Ashford Hospitality Trust (aka Remington Hotels) corporate officers are finally worried enough about this hotel that they are monitoring and reading. The remarks are exactly from a crisis management play book and a good job by someone trying to do damage control. Better late then never!
    The sad reality is that even for those of us who DO NOT BELIEVE IN Hotel Unions; we can understand why these situations continue to happen to Ashford Hospitality Trust (aka Remington Hotels). Even if the union does not succeed; the employees have won already by forcing Ashford Hospitality Trust (aka Remington Hotels) to give them quality health coverage so taxpayers do not have to foot the bill. Does anyone really believe that Ashford Hospitality Trust (aka Remington Hotels) would have provided this out of the kindness of their hearts with their track record at their other hotels?
    Just one look at the Remington Hotels portfolio of Ashford Hospitality Trust (and their history) and it would scare any taxpayer. It is estimated that up to 80% of their hourly employees live in poverty and have almost no health insurance. As a taxpayer that is a disgusting percentage and all taxpayers should be angry that we have to foot the bill for companies like this. Ashford Hospitality Trust (aka Remington Hotels) messed up by giving the CEO and Chairman quality health insurance and stock options while telling their employees times were tough and they needed to be team players and help the company save. Adding insult was the President of Ashford Hospitality Trust recently cashing in some $215,000 of stock given to him as bonus within the last month.
    It is widely known around the industry that their hotel managers can’t even afford to put their own family members on their policies. And they are supposed to have the “good” insurance. The joke around the industry is that you never want to be GM of the year with them. Because that means you will get fired the next.
    Understandably, what Ashford Hospitality Trust (aka Remington Hotels) was hoping was that their other hotels did not realize how badly they have it. So from a strategic business move and PR view, someone screwed up big time from Ashford Hospitality Trust (aka Remington Hotels) for letting this one get this far. The union is surely now going to take this to all of the Remington managed hotels and remind them that Ashford Hospitality Trust (aka Remington Hotels) will only give them quality insurance if they threaten to unionize.
    Ashford Hospitality Trust (aka Remington Hotels) is run by right wing religious nuts and they do not operate in today’s reality. They are fighting for their life trying to keep their stock from crashing again so they have had to squeeze blood out of their hotels to make the stock look good until the recovery comes back. They have never been interested and make now claim to be interested in the long term health of a hotel. Only the short term results so they can milk a hotel until they sell it. They are getting killed in their markets by more modern hotels who prepared for the recession and their F&B revenue probably will never come back at any of their hotels. At the same time they have stupidly and openly supported causes against Gays, Blacks, Jews, Catholics, and Islamic. The same groups that could have helped them recover. That is pretty accepted knowledge by those who know and follow the company. Any CEO who actually starts a private all white male secret society called the Association for True Hospitality has got to be a little off center if they are in the Hotel business. We are not talking about a private citizen or private company, we are talking about a CEO of a pubically held company who is making donations on behalf of Ashford Hospitality Trust employees and guests to groups and causes directly against their own employees and guests. How can you want to build a wall to keep immigrants out; yet, beg them to work for you in your housekeeping departments? How can you want to “save one guest at a time to Christianity” while asking Bar Mitzvahs, Islamic weddings, and gay groups to stay at your hotels? This isn’t some grocery store somewhere in the south. We are talking about college graduates who are supposed to act as responsible corporate citizen in our modern society.
    The employees at this hotel should look Monty and Archie Bennett in the eyes and ask them, “If you value me so much as a stewards of god, why don’t you give me the same health coverage that you have?” Even better ask them to give them the same stock options they got this year!

  6. I guess I should take it as a compliment that its assumed Im some highly paid lawyer from corporate Remington. In reality I’m a born and raised Alaska woman who works in a hotel. I spent my last shift folding laundry even. I don’t remember the last time I saw corporate anyone doing the laundry. Oh wait, yes I do, when I worked at Sheraton, Rooms Division Manager Canas was right there folding the F&B napkins with me. I remember because we had a good laugh that we bothered folding them, when they should be stacked flat. Not only am I not a corporate lawyer, I’m also a woman, was gay married in Canada, and a catholic. So in your opinion, Remington should have long strung me up! In fact they begged me to stay and have multiple times asked me back. So much for that theory… Not to mention one of their most respected former VPs and now advisor is Mary Villarreal, also a woman…

    I have no idea where you get this idea that the employees forced Ashford to give them good healthcare, especially since you stated earlier Ashford was putting Sheraton’s employees in the ERs and on food stamps at taxpayer’s expense… But if you have to stretch it that far to pretend it was somehow some great trick by the Union to make the employer switch healthcare plans, come on, that’s delusional. The proposed healthcare from the Union is based on their own for profit structure through Amalgamated Life, The Union was proposing to up the fees 48% for Health payments. That’s insane and a clear sign that they cannot manage their own plan. That’s bad business all around. Not to mention, as I said, Employees of the union pay half as much per person as Workers. Yet the employee of Unite Here funds are not critical, while the worker’s funds are. Which goes to show that they are intentionally mismanaging their fund. If I were a company paying a million into it each year, Id start shopping around too. Why pay so much when you can find something comparable or better for a better price? Not to mention private plans pay out much better than union ones.

    The healthcare plan was also switch officially back in May, and announced prior to that. The hotel was still union when this happened, which is why I say there may be some sort of issue there. The better insurance wasnt gained from any relation to the union other than that a 48% increase is clearly bad business on part of the union. If the union cared about the people they represented and not on how they were going to make more money off workers by strongarming employers in an economic decline (note that the worker fees only make the union $67,685 per year vs what they make off the employer which last year was over $570,000), which damages a company’s flow, especially after you add on 48%!

    Again, this is about the Sheraton Anchorage hotel vs Unite Here 878, not about some huge Ashford agenda. Its about the reproachable actions of the profit mongering Union and a company that would rather not get gouged! They pay the same wages as the rest of the hotels in the city, some even competitively, as if they don’t, the workers would just go to other hotels. Their managers aren’t paying on food stamps (it should also be noted the GM was, to the previous poster’s upset Im sure, GM of the year several years back, so I guess he missed the cut-off period where Ashford apparently sacrifices last years GM of the Year in celebration of the next, lucky man, especially considering he‘s an immigrant!). They pay a couple hundred dollars a month in health care options, but they also get paid more, so it evens out for them, and that may change soon as the plan was in place PRIOR to Remington. In all honesty, if it weren’t for the obnoxious reps harassing us in the cafeteria, most probably wouldn’t have even noticed the difference before or after the union. The health care seems the same, only a little better, a couple departments actually got raises, and not in any way related to the union, but because associates told the GM they saw other hotels paid more and asked the company to be competitive and just like that, the GM raised the wages.

    There were never these horrible working conditions that people who don’t work in the hotel, like the repliers above, the union reps, the lawyer all describe. I remember Jessica (rep) asking if I understood how horrible it was to change sheets on the sweet sleepers. I’ve changed hundreds, It wasn’t a big deal. People who haven’t done the job need to stop being so melodramatic because its obnoxious. Yeah, I go home tired. I worked desk too and stood 8 hours in one place. David Blaine calls that magic. I call it guest service. Id like to see Jessica or Marvin even fold a towel.

    Yes, Ashford is known for being religious, but yet again, the original article was about the case of Sheraton Anchorage vs. Union 878. Not some grand case against Ashford. There’s enough good reasons why the company would very logically wish to separate from 878.

    And no one at Sheraton is voting for ethnic cleansing like you’re claiming. And again, many managers were there before Remington. Director of Sales Tanguy Libbrecht has been with Sheraton for years, long before Remington. And Im pretty sure his sales pitch hasn’t included “The Howard Rock Ballroom is the largest in the city, and perfect for finding the righteous path of god through the Christian right.” I’m pretty sure its space plans, catering options and room options… Like I said, while that may be happening in your state, this is Remington’s only property in Alaska and I never saw it here. I guarantee the managerial staff doesn’t start their meetings with a prayer. And they clearly don’t need to if the best cases against them are left field generalized comments that don’t pertain to the case at hand.

  7. It it obvious Ashford Hospitality Trust (aka Remington Hotels) lost a great employee. One who is full of knowledge and insider information that even Hotel Managers or shareholders are not privy. I’m sure shareholders would love to have the same access to the information you have uncovered and who your contact is at the hotel or with the corporate office.
    We are sorry they did not try to develop and use your obvious talent as an openly gay married woman as member of their management team. I’m sure your investigate skills would have benefited them during a time like this. Or that they didn’t give you any opportunties for your growth and/or development beyond folder towels and working the desk.
    Those of us who who have worked along side Mary over the years, are fully aware of her struggles and obstacles she faced at Remington Hotels (aka Ashford Hospitality Trust). Her departure was a shock to both former and current employees and she is dearly missed as a rational voice for the company. She was one of the few bright lights for diversity and growth for the company. You would be hard pressed to find anyone in the industry who was and is more respected than her. She was a person of respect and intergrity for sure. Not many opportunities like this have been available before or after her departure with Remington Hotels (aka Ashford Hospitality) for woman as their history shares.
    Although her departure still remains a mystery to many in the industry; it is and was apparent her departure was sudden and not expected.
    We are sure Remington Hotels (aka Ashford Hospitality Trust) have many LGBT and other minority employees, like yourself, that are proud employees or former employees at the hourly level. Very few actually ever make it to become management; not to mentioned in GM positions.
    As with any company, each employee must make their own personal decission to work for a company (and their values). Even if it is openly acknowledged that they do not consider LGBT and other minorties to be equal citizens in America. No one would fault them for that personal choice in today’s economy since they may have few other options to make a living without a quality education. But to suggest that the company does NOT openly and fully support causes against equal rights and rights of those of color at Ashford Hospitality Trust (aka Remington Hotel) is false. One need only follow the money trail of their donations and their radical religious activity over the past several years. It is sad that your wedding in Canada is not would never be honored or respected by the CEO and Chairman of Remington Hotels (aka Ashford Hospitality Trust). We hope you fiind and/or have found a modern day employeer who reconizes your blessed union in their employee handbook and with their benefits.
    Fortunetly, many more Hospitality Professional management companies have already embraced diverse work forces. And they are reaping the benefits in our new era of hospitality. Both with talent and with guests. They are able to work freely and openingly daily as their companies continue to grow and expand their market share and opportunities.
    To actually believe the GM of this hotel has any managerial power to make decisions at this hotel is both naive and understandable. The Remington Hotel (aka Ashford Hospitality Trust) structure considers GM to be mere hotel managers who execute the wishes of the CEO and Chairman via the area VP’s. They have absolutely no authority and/or power to make any employee decissions, raises, and/or buy any supplies without consent from above. So let’s not kid ourself that the management of this hotel has anything to do with this situation. This situation arose soley by the decission in Dallas, Texas by the CEO and Chairman.
    Once again, the reality is that this situation would not (and has not happened) at other Ashford Hospitality Trust hotels that are not managed by the CEO and Chairman’s privately held Remington Hotels. They have drawn a line in the sand on this one only because it is their own private management company. As a business owner it makes logical since. However, to not accept that this is soley an act to protect Remington Hotels and that is has nothing really to do with Ashford Hospitality Trust is naive.
    Although I applaud the efforts of Remington Hotels the management company to attempt to fight the union; it is shameful that the pubically held Ashford Hospitality Trust is doing this on the backs of shareholders and not using their own money. That is outrages and gives us insight into their ethics.
    Just as outrages is the CEO and Chairman’s open and passionate support against equal rights for the LGBT community, woman and those of color.
    Their radical religious and political actions do impact and relate to those hard workiers in Alaska because it gives everyone a view what they are dealing with regarding the ethics and goal of this company. If anyone has any doubt; just simply ask the CEO and Chairman next time they are at the hotel for the list of donations and causes they have contributed on behalf of their workers. Better yet, just go online and you can see their contributions on behalf of the company.

  8. Apparently youre a pretty disenfranchised former employee… And not really following the news… First, Mary Villarreal is now working as a consultant for Remington and works on this particular case. Shes regularly quoted in the news articles.

    Second, nothing I say is insider information. Its easily found. Most the numbers come off tax forms, flyers, news reports, websites, and papers. Id be happy to cite sources for you if youd like to see where any of it comes from as I believe people should read and analyze data for themselves and not just assume.

    Third, plenty of people make it to management. I can think of at least four people that were promoted from the inside in the time I was at Sheraton. Again this has nothing to do with the case…

    Forth, of course my “blessed union” isnt recognized by Remington, as its not recognized by the US government either… And theres openly gay staff at Sherton, but its nobody’s business because no one there is to discuss whos sleeping with who, but rather do their jobs. Its not the company’s business who I sleep with or love. Youre just attempting to personalize and stir up emotions (are you a former Unite Here employee as well since Ive heard they were pros at pinksheeting! Hows your pension doing?), but again, this has nothing to do with the case…

    Fifth, the GM is who everyone in the hotel has to go through to get things done. Whoever he goes to for approval (whether it was Wolling or the new CEO), doesnt matter as hes the one getting it done for us in the chain of command. Of course he goes through his boss. Everyone does. And hes the top of the Hotel’s chain of command. Again, this has nothing to do with the case (other than maybe say Mr Artiles isnt guilty of anything in your opinion…)…

    Six: of course the outcome of the case affects Ashford since Remington is the subsidiary. But other than the overall monetary affect that ripples up the chain, like I said and stated, theres perfectly good reasons to separate from this union.

    You have yet to once reference anything other than your distatste for your claims of the “Chairman and CEO’s” personal beliefs. No, it isnt affecting Alaskans. Because your crusade against Ashford has zero to do with the points stated in the case. This case has nothing to do with racism, religion, etc. Its a case about commerce. I have the feeling “Ashford is evil” isnt going to be Mr Iglitzen’s next defense of 878…

    Im guessing by your username youre all about finding insider info about shford to leak. Maybe you should get a blog. I have a psych degree and experts say self-report is very healthy. Youre clearly a very angry person… But again, that has nothing to do with the case. And clearly neither do you.

  9. YES I AM MAD AS HELL AND WON’T TAKE IT ANYMORE! LOL. Forgive me but I just find it amusing that you are using verbiage exactly off the playbook of Ashford Hospitality Trust and their anonymous postings that were exposed in a recent civil lawsuit they lost. LOL. The CEO’s Facebook and college friends were exposed using the exact same verbiage on the internet when someone shared and shares an alternative view of the company. It seems this country must just be filled with “disenfranchised former employees”. LOL. That phrase somehow seems to be used so freely as if it makes someone’s view less meaningful. When in fact, it is vital for employees of this hotel to actually see and hear that so many “disenfranchised former employees” are out in the world. I’m sure those who work at this hotel will be concerned to hear this and it is pretty scary. And BTW, by you saying that, you just confirmed how much this information really does relate to the hotel employees and Alaskan taxpayers that so many “disenfranchised former employee’s” are out there as a result of these two companies acting as one. LOL. Thanks for taking the bait! I’m glad I didn’t need to resort to using some crazy Lesbian term as a way to get your feathers ruffled and take the bait earlier.
    If you would contact me directly, I would be more than happy to give you a list of opportunities outside of Alaska regarding how your wedding union could and would be honored and appreciated in corporate America. I’m sorry this information is not available to you in Alaska. The rest of America and many corporations have changed over the last several years. Believe me, there is an entire diverse world out there beyond Alaska!
    Now what “does” relate to this situation is if you have been told and/or discovered that Remington Hotels is a “subsidiary“ of Ashford Hospitality Trust. I know some guys at the SEC who would be extremely interested to find out who and what you uncovered. More important, if you have been told this by someone that has this knowledge or has shared this with you. This really raises serious legal concerns for both Remington Hotels and Ashford Hospitality Trust if you have been advised of this and/or if that is the message that if being given by officers of either company to hotel employees or Alaskan citizens.
    That is what is so bizarre about this entire situation and how it follows Ashford Hospitality Trust and Remington Hotels and does relate to this hotel and all Remington managed hotels. Also hotels managed by other management agreements and Brands that are owned by Ashford Hospitality Trust which I am a shareholder.
    .They are completely two separate companies. One is public and one is private. The fact that the public company is spending all these efforts to protect the private company is a shareholder class action lawsuit in the making. And that “does” and will directly effect this hotel and all Ashford Hospitality Trust hotels! If Ashford Hospitality Trust continues to be caught in litigation and one develops as a result of what is happening at this hotel by shareholders, this hotel will be directly effected. Ownership will not be able to continue to float this hotel until it becomes profitable again. And they would have to sell this hotel. Which could and would directly effect what is being promised now to the employees regarding benefits and healthcare. If and when Ashford Hospitality Trust sells this hotel (which they surely will), all of their promises to employees are void with both the new ownership and management company. Nothing is protected in an ownership sell. Everyone is fired and rehired at will by the new owners and management company. That is how you get rid those employees who you think will oppose you. Sound familiar? Like maybe using vague employee handbooks that are not followed by everyone and/or enforced to everyone equally? So, keeping this hotel non union makes it easier for them to sell the hotel if needed. Very Interesting!
    Adding to the humor is that the CEO and Chairman of the public company just so happens to own the private management company and this action only enriches them. Funny how that works out isn’t it? And here I thought all along this was all about the little ole precious employees at this hotel or the union. Very Interesting!

  10. Actually not ruffled at all…

    Disenfranchised is a common word for anyone who feels angrily under-recognized. Again, if you followed the case youd know Remington has been playing a very clean game and been very tight-lipped, other than their blog via a PR agent, they almost always refuse to comment and have stayed away from seeming ruffled by the union’s petty attacks. Took the bait for what? To assume youre a disenfranchised former management member isnt really a stretch… And plenty of people leave jobs going, “wow, that sucked” or else you wouldnt be a “former” employee. Its called “work,” most people arent 100% thrilled about it or theyd call it “fun!” I think too remington lawyers have enough on their hands with all the ULPs to bother hiring “damage control” to post to one website… Im not pro-company, Im against this union though. I started out not caring one way or the next, but the pension thing caught my eye and the whole labor dispute is actully very interesting, more so than our local politics.

    The second to last paragraph is the most sane thing youve written as it does pertain to the case. Id appreciate if you could provide your sources with the issue of case funding so I could look into it myself. That’s not being sardonic, Im serious, Id really like to know your sources so I can research it more.
    Again, your reference to my marriage has no relevance to this case, and your passive aggression towards my home state is unmitigated. Ive never had a single issue with discrimination in my workplace. Theres nothing about it to recognize, I dont go to work for a social hour, I go to be a professional and work.

    Id disagree though with your statement about vague handbooks. The Associate Handbook is very standard, theres nothing really amazing about it. No special clauses on religion or such. Its just a standard handbook…I have a copy of the one they use here if youd like. And here they very much were enforced equally. The HR department is huge about that. But its not vague, its pretty standard stuff, like dress codes or employee areas, etc. The handbooks I have from my current property is pretty much the same.

    Id also disagree that theyre looking to run the hotel into the ground then sell at as a motive for debunking the union. Again, Ive already stated very good reasons why. But also, they finished last year a 20 million dollar renovation and are currently renovating the ballrooms and then the Ptarmigan. And the hotel isnt “unprofitable.” We are in a recession and in alaska its just last year that it really started to hit our tourism market. But, its hardly reason to sell the property.

    Ashford has bought properties for the purpose of resale before. In fact, when Sheraton was purchased in 2006, several other properties were acquisitioned as well, and it was openly stated that two of them would be resold (hotels in Trumbell and Iowa City- ah Google is an amazing thing). But, Ashford continues to invest highly in Anchorage through the Sheraton. As I stated earlier, many of the managerial staff and workers have been there for many years. And yes, even they survived the purchase by Ashford. Truth is, the company doesnt need an excuse to “get rid” of employees; if it didnt feel certain members fit the team, theyd just fire them, In Alaska you dont need cause for termination.

    Ive been saying this has nothing to do with workers’ rights. I stated outright this is about two money-making businesses, its about commerce. The NLRB doesnt step in to protect workers and unions, it does so to protect the economic state. Its also been very clear that 878 made almost no attempts to bargain with the Company. The big issues were housekeeping rooms and the 48% increase in health, among a few. If 878 would have conceded to the perfectly good healthcare offer instead of wanting to profit off it through their own healthcare maybe things would be very different. But its the insider policy of Unite Here through Hotel Workers Rising that keeps them from offering any concessions, negating any bargaining.

    Could you provide sources on the funding of this particular case through Ashford vs Remington? Yes, theyre owned by the same company, but anything directly relating to THIS case, not broad speculation. Did you pull the IRS forms?

    It would have been much simpler if you just stated that you felt the ulterior motives of the company for out-ing the union was that Ashford wished to make a profit. But I dont think anyone would be much surprised by that. The difference being Ashford isnt taking 20 years of pensions and funneling them away. Ashford also doesnt pose as a great service to working people. But this could go on uselessly all day…

    Id like to see your sources showing the money is embezzled from Remington to Ashford and how much Ashford aims to gain off outing the Union other than the sane business choice of not paying into a dirty union. Is it evil that a company’s monetary goals also happen to line up with the workers’ desire to remove the union? Especially considering both are getting gouged horribly financially. I think your claims on profit have merit, but in this case are sort of moot. Is Ashford paying for the case of Remington vs Unite Here though? Yes Remington is a sort of subsidiary of Ashford, but what youre bringing to question is are they using their own company’s money or are they getting it funneled from Ashford? Id like to see your sources about Ashford funding Remington’s fight with this Union. Maybe if Unite Here was a legitimate union with real fiduciary code your claim would seem much more scandalous. But unless you can show proof that its Ashford paying for the case and not company funds from Remington, which can more than afford its own legal team, its just more conspiracy theory. I can provide you even a DOL report about the structure of Unite Here and Alico, etc, that I referenced earlier.

    I just ask for proof not because Im stridently against you, but same as when the reps told us the company was murdering our families with outlandish health care, It wasnt some mysterious under-the-table plan, it was just Aetna, like thousands of other companies have. Most companies dont pay 100% in either. And as I said, I personally dont hate unions and think it would have been wiser for if 878 cared for its workers, to recognize this plan is better than their own and say, okay, we will take it, but we want a freeze. One of the perks of a CBA is even in a sale, the acquisitioning company has to honor the CBA, just as Remington did for about two years till the expiration of the contract.

    Thank you for finally being somewhat on subject. I think you have some good points. Maybe try a little less anger and a little more clarity in outlining your thoughts and people may see it as good points and not just “disenfranchised worker.” I dont mean that to be harsh, Im quite serious. Same as the lawyer cursing in the title and using sensationalist verbiage. Just outline your facts, or they get lost and dismissed,

  11. It is surprising that educated people would compare friendly sarcasms with anger. The term disenfranchised actually means to be deprived of the rights of “citizenship” especially the right to vote; “labor was voiceless”; “disenfranchised masses took to the streets”. As I mentioned previously, I find it humorous that this term continues to be misused by the playbook of Remington Hotels and the CEO and Chairman of Ashford Hospitality Trust when someone gives an alternative view of the situation. I guess we can consider Mary also a Disfranchised former employee since she left the company so suddenly. Good golly that means even you are a disfranchised former employee. How Funny!

    In the now infamous words of Ashford Hospitality Trust’s CEO’s insider and former Facebook and college friend (who was allegedly used to leak information regarding Ashford Hospitality Trust according to a recent lost civil lawsuit) via online articles and postings, “More interesting is that Ashford has filed suit in federal court against Wachovia, the senior ESA lien holder for $160 million. I don’t have the lawsuit details, but the filing is a matter of public record. For all we know, perhaps that $100 million isn’t totally lost.”

    Out of respect and support for those in past, current and future litigation with Ashford Hospitality Trust, it would be naïve for anyone to show their hand and/or help the current President and Legal Team by showing our hand. All the research you need is available by the IR people at Ashford Hospitality Trust. All you have to do is ask.

    Or you can try and become a Facebook friend of the CEO to get your information leaked to you (ops allegedly) . Unfortunately, after several lawsuits were exposed to the public and in an attempt to minimize future civil lawsuits, the CEO immediately (and smartly) blocked his friends list from the public. So we just have to go off those who got in before he made his move and get the leaks from those within the current friends list.

    The ownership of this Alaskan Hotel, Ashford Hospitality Trust, has just announced their inability to rebound on the conservative side of 2014. This does directly effect the Alaskan hotel because it means they will have to sell some hotels to survive over the next several years. So not having the union burden in a market that is considered to be declining, will make it easier to unload this hotel if and when tthe situation becomes more dire in this market. If I were an employee of this hotel that would concern me greatly. How would I be protected when the hotel is sold? Would all the management company promises regarding insurance be able to be upheld legally if they sold the hotel? What type of insurance does the management company offer at their other managed hotels to back up their promise? Are any of the current management team, task force, and/or those “consultants” who are visiting being promised any bonus if the can stop the union?

    The laws governing REITs do not allow privately held Remington Hotels and shareholder owned Ashford Hospitality Trust to be run as the same company. I realize that Alaskans can see Russia from their front porches; but, since this is an anonymous blog (For all we know you could be the CEO or his writer friend) we should just laugh it off together that you are not aware of this. For God Sake, your state gave us Sarah Palin..

    It is refreshing to hear your back tracking that you actually believe Remington Hotel Management was a “subsidiary” of Ashford Hospitality Trust. They are no more connected than Starwood Hotels, Hilton Hotels or Marriot Hotels management companies. I just can’t understand how this falsehood continues to be spread; but, Ashford Hospitality Trust is only connected to Remington Hotels via the CEO and Chairman. We shareholders of Ashford Hospitality Trust have absolutely NO ownership and/or relationship with Remington Hotels, Starwood Hotels, Marriott Hotels or Hilton Hotels management companies. They manage our hotels just as Remington Hotels does. Ashford Hospitality Trust and our shareholders do not profit from these relationships one penny other than what they squeeze out of these hotels. The CEO and Chairman are the only people who profit directly from the Remington Hotel’s management contracts. This incestuous relationship allows them to double dip so to speak. Remington Hotels Management company profits if the ownership (Ashford Hospitality Trust) makes money or not. The management fees flow into the private company during all economical cycles for Remington Hotels Management company. That is why most major brands have sold off their ownership of hotels and focus on managing their brands instead. Whereas the shareholders of Ashford Hospitality Trust, are directly effected by misjudgments and failed management decisions of the management company during bad cycles. Having the current CEO and Chairman continue to blur the line between both companies has frightened shareholders for some time now. Ashford Hospitality Trust has already been caught attempting to use litigation to protect Remington Hotels in legal negotiations and settlements. So to believe this situation is also not the same case is somewhat naïve. That is the Ashford Hospitality Trust legal strategy when in litigation. Once again, just look into the SEC complaints that have been filed.

    Many of us completely agree that hotel unions can be evil and that certain people in unions can act as the lowest form of civility. Many have as much education as hotel workers. It is NOT a very educated industry in America as it is in Europe. And for many of the service unions around America, that is why they have had such a bad PR problem with the American public lately. But even grade school history teaches us how important unions have been to our country. Not all unions are evil; just as not all employees of Remington Hotels or Ashford Hospitality Trust are evil, racist and homophobic.

    I doubt any patriotic American would question the need for those hard working American unions that build our military planes and equipment. Or those brave unions of our firefighters, police, homeland security and safety workers that keep us safe from terrorist attacks

    The reason the service industry unions scare us capitalist so much (and rightly so) is because they are in the early days and formations and they have been the fastest growing sector of job creations. Not to mention so many live in poverty all across American. These two components scare us dearly because they are ingredients that makes the hotel industry ripe for unions. Even staunch capitalist and the most conservative companies realize that this is the future of the industry. So to vilify the unions and/or those who support them is starting to blow up in our faces with the American public.

    Hence we have the Tea Party movement and your own home grown Sarah Palin. The Tea Party movement started because of our disgust and impact of how these corporate welfare companies (aka Remington Hotels Management) have burdened our local, state, and federal budgets as they continue to dump their underinsured and underpaid onto our welfare and health care systems.

    Now, most people do indeed believe that the current CEO and Chairman of Ashford Hospitality Trust (and maybe the President now) are scum, arrogant buffoons, and are a little off their rockers with their religious efforts in a diverse America. I would love a trip to Alaska and have no issue being subpoenaed. But, no one is suggesting that all employees of both Remington Hotels and/or Ashford Hospitality Trust fall into the same category. How do you think we get our insider information.

    But of course NONE of this relates to the Alaskan Sheraton situation!

  12. […] is Wrong with the Sheraton Anchorage Hotel and Spa?. Talking Union. Retrieved October 2010, from: https://talkingunion.wordpress.com/2010/10/18/what-the-hell-is-wrong-withthe-sheraton-anchorage-hotel… [6] Plaintiff’s Complaint. (September 23, 2010). Ashford TRS Nickel v. Local 878. 3:10-cv-213. […]

  13. Remington just took over 17 Crestline managed properties. Our benefit plans were just rolled out to us. For a basic (very basic) family major medical plan I will now be paying $18,000 a year!!!!! That’s right – $18,000!!!! that is almost 4 times what I was paying with my previous employer – Crestline. We are no longer employees, but slaves!!

  14. […] On August 25, 2011, Administrative Law Judge Gregory Z. Meyerson issued a long-awaited verdict on the sixteen separate allegations of unlawful behavior which had been lodged against Remington Lodging & Hospitality LLC, the operator of the Sheraton Anchorage hotel, by the National Labor Relations Board (the Board), the federal agency authorized to enforce the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), which is the law that governs labor relations for most private sector employers. This ruling brings Sheraton workers one step closer to justice.  (Talking Union has covered the struggles of Alaska hotel workers  here and here.) […]

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