|By Chris Reidy, The Boston
GlobeMcClatchy-Tribune Business News
Sep. 22, 2006 - Employees at Jurys Boston Hotel voted 47 to 46 to cut ties with a hotel and restaurant workers union, a spokesman for the union said last night.
In an election conducted by the National Labor Relations Board, a majority of employees who voted indicated that they no longer wish to be represented by Unite Here, Local 26.
Just under 100 of the hotel's 150 employees, including housekeepers, bartenders and doormen, are represented by the union, said Stephen Johnston, general manager of Jurys Boston Hotel.
In a statement after the vote, Local 26 president Janice Loux said, "The hotel has engaged in a campaign of intimidation and harassment. Jurys Hotel has drawn a line in the sand for which there will be serious consequences. They have broken the law, and we will support these workers."
A spokesman said the union would not comment beyond its statement.
Johnston disputed Loux's claims of intimidation and law breaking by the hotel.
"That's absolutely not the case," he said. "I'm deeply disappointed to hear them use language like that."
In the summer of 2004, the Jurys Boston Hotel opened in a Back Bay building that once housed Boston Police Headquarters. The union began representing some hotel workers a few months later, and the relationship between management and the union was "harmonious," according to Johnston.
At some point, a number of hotel workers petitioned the NLRB to hold a vote that would allow employees to decide whether they wished to continue to be represented by the union, Johnston said.
"The hotel had nothing to do with that," Johnston said of the election.
Under Loux, the union has pressured some new hotels to promise to employ union workers even before the hotels had opened their doors. Last year, she declared a boycott of the InterContinental Boston hotel on Atlantic Avenue, then under construction, to force the hotel operator to hire union workers.
In April, after months of negotiations, the two sides said they had reached an agreement under which between 150 and 200 of the hotel's 325 employees will be union members.
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