Hotel Online Special Report
Miramar Sheraton GM Resigns from Santa Monica CVB 
Due to HERE's Negative Campaign
SANTA MONICA, Calif - Sept. 16, 1998--Bill Worcester, General Manager of the Miramar Sheraton Hotel in Santa Monica, today announced his resignation from the Board of Directors of the Santa Monica Convention and Visitors Bureau after 12 years of service.

Worcester explained in a letter to the Bureau that his voluntary resignation is intended to prevent the Convention and Visitors Bureau from becoming a political football in a negative campaign being waged by a local labor union, the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union Local 814.  Worcester wrote that his other reason for leaving the board is to free up more time to set the record straight on the real issues behind the Union's campaign.

Worcester said some Santa Monica City Council members, at the Union's urging, were threatening to limit the Bureau's funding.  Local 814 has been waging an aggressive, negative public relations campaign against the hotel and its employees since last year, when the Miramar's employees voted to decertify the union.

"The Miramar Sheraton's position has always been to support our employees by allowing them to decide for themselves whether they want union representation," said Worcester. "It is our belief and policy that the key to motivating our employees to the highest standards of guest services is to treat them with dignity and with respect for their individual beliefs. Our fault in the Union's eyes is that we have refused to sign away our employees' rights in advance, or to pressure them by bowing to Union demands for public relations ploys such as a so-called 'neutrality agreement'."

Worcester continued, "Most of our employees ceased paying union dues many years ago because they did not think the Union was benefiting them. And the hotel has taken over management of their health insurance to guarantee no loss of benefits. It could be argued strongly that the Union lost the support of our employees through neglect."

In May of 1995, the majority of hotel employees, on their own and with no prompting or support from management, filed a petition to the National Labor Relations Board requesting decertification from the union. Last October 1, in a secret ballot election conducted by the NLRB, employees voted by a margin of 120 to 108 to decertify the Union.

The union subsequently filed suit to overturn the election and launched a smear campaign against the hotel alleging that Miramar Sheraton management intimidated its employees to vote against the union.

"Local 814's antics serve only to detract attention from the fact that a majority of Miramar Sheraton employees voted on October 1 to decertify it... but the real issue is a union willing to go to any lengths not to lose membership and members' dues.  It is unfortunate that some politicians have chosen to buy into the union's rhetoric and made the Convention and Visitor Bureau a pawn in the union's game," said Worcester.

"By resigning from the Board, I a not withdrawing from active support for the objectives of the Bureau.  I simply am freeing myself to fight as strongly as I can for our employees' right to choose," Worcester continued.

Barnes Clarke Inc.
Jessica Berg, 415/788-1000
Also See:
Miramar Sheraton to HERE Local 814: Let Employees Vote Now; One Year Anniversary of Employees' Vote Against Union / Sept 1998 
National Labor Relations Board in Washington Supports New Otani, Los Angeles in Key Decision / June 1998 

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