Word around San Francisco is that UNITE HERE Local 2 leader Mike Casey is steaming mad that the San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau(SFCVB) voted unanimously to reprimand him for the union’s aggressively anti-San Francisco, anti-employee tactics.
The San Francisco Chronicle’s Phil Matier and Andy Ross reported that SFCVB voted to reprimand the union leader for urging trade groups and professional organizations to take their business to other cities.
SFCVB boss Joe D’Alessandro warned that if the union continued to interfere with efforts to bring business to San Francisco, its leaders could be booted from the group, according to Matier and Ross.
Reports are that Casey lost his temper and started shouting a string of obscenities when he received notice from the SFCVB. He is now desperately trying to overturn the SFCVB decision, but it is unlikely that he will be successful.
Despite the undeniable, bad economic news for city hotels, Local 2 has demanded a more expensive contract for some 9,000 city hotel employees. As in the past, the leaders of Local 2 are staging random sit-ins, pickets and demonstrations.
What has changed this year is a new tactic of harassment and intimidation of conference and event planners, and even event committee members. In recent months, Local 2 officials have sought to discourage a AIDS research conference and a conference of pediatricians from holding their events at those hotels in San Francisco that can accommodate large groups.
So far, Local 2 has succeeded in prompting three union-associated conventions to take their business to San Jose, Las Vegas and Washington, D.C. Union tactics are likely forcing event planners considering venues for 2011 and beyond to take San Francisco off their list of potential sites. While Local 2 President Mike Casey claims the actions of his union are designed to impact only a select group of hotels, clearly they are harming the entire city of San Francisco.
Casey and UNITE HERE Local 2 have refused to come back to the negotiating table. In essence, he has said: “accept my deal or I won’t negotiate at all.” This is no way for a labor leader to act when the local economy is in dire straits and his own members are suffering and out of work.
Perhaps the City by the Bay has woken up to the economic damages that unions can bring?
“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776
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