News for the Hospitality Executive
of Hotel’s Troubled Recent History, Says Letter Issued
by UNITE HERE
ANGELES - July 19, 2007 - Today, UNITE HERE Local 11 released a letter
of interest to prospective buyers of the Radisson Hotel LAX, which is being
sold by Pacifica Companies. Local 11 has been assisting the hotel’s non-managerial
employees for over 6 years.
“If years of public records are to be believed, Pacifica has a long history of broken promises to labor and environmental authorities, and its owner Ashok Israni has built a reputation for regulatory recalcitrance” according to a September 2006 article in the Chula Vista Star-News.
Health and safety related problems at the Radisson Hotel LAX include:
On April 23rd, 2007 an arbitrator ordered the reinstatement of a worker fired “specifically, because he supported the Union and he attempted to get his fellow workers to support the Union, as well.” The Arbitrator’s ruling described a widespread anti-union campaign waged by Radisson management, stating that “management did its best to make clear to the employees that it did not want the Union to be present at the Hotel, and encouraged the employees in every way that it could not to support the Union.”
The Union has also requested arbitration for another 11 known union supporters who it believes were terminated for supporting the union. Under the City of Los Angeles Worker Retention Ordinance, any future buyer would be required to reinstate the 11 employees if an arbitrator determines that they were wrongfully terminated, and possibly liable for backpay that accrues after the sale.
Pacifica, in addition to problems at the Radisson Hotel LAX, has had numerous health and safety violations in other California cities, including San Diego, Chula Vista, Santa Ana, Del Mar, Escondido, Oceanside, and Sunnyvale. These include 8 more asbestos-related violations. For example, two San Diego County departments sued Pacifica on June 8th, 2005 for repeatedly removing large quantities of asbestos-containing material without following proper procedure. A January 10th, 2006 judgement ordered Pacifica to pay $202,257.50 in “civil penalties and costs.”
Pacifica has also been sued several times for alleged job discrimination. An age and religious discrimination lawsuit is set for a jury trial this November.
“The adage ’buyer beware’ is always good advice, but especially for prospective buyers of the Radisson Hotel LAX, given the recent history of the property and its current owner,” according to Andy Lee of UNITE HERE Local 11. “Due to our ongoing contact with the Radisson LAX employees, UNITE HERE Local 11 has access to unique information regarding the hotel that Pacifica and the sale broker might not disclose. We urge any interested buyers to contact us as part of their due diligence efforts.”
Copies of the letter can be obtained by contacting UNITE HERE researcher
Andy Lee at (213) 400-4283 or firstname.lastname@example.org.