Second District Councilwoman Jeannine Pearce made a quick trip to Utah yesterday as part of efforts to resolve a labor dispute between hotel employees and the hotel management/ownership of the Westin Long Beach—a dispute that has resulted in a lawsuit, weekly protests and frustrated residents inconvenienced by the noise and traffic.
Pearce returned from the trip to Utah at 8:00PM Thursday, with renewed hopes for a resolution after feeling that members of the board of the Utah Retirement System (URS) were receptive to the various viewpoints of the situation.
“They haven’t had a public comment at a board meeting since the 1930s or so,” Pearce told the Post on Friday. “I told them that my concern is people go through the background channels but don’t actually sit down and talk to each other. I highly encouraged management to sit down at the table with labor.”
Pearce described the board as “extremely receptive,” and said the next steps would involve setting up a meeting between the URS board, hotel management and labor.
She mentioned several pending lawsuits, including a complaint filed by Region 21 of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against the hotel for alleged unfair labor practices, as well as a class action lawsuit brought on behalf of the hotel’s housekeepers, restaurant workers, and banquet servers, alleging wage-and-hour violations, which will be heard in mid-2017.
“I said, ‘My city can’t wait until then for picketing to stop,’” said Pearce. She said as councilwoman her responsibility was to create neighborhood harmony, supporting “good neighbors.”
“Long Beach prides ourselves on being a place where businesses, workers, and residents treat one another with the dignity and respect that they each deserve” said Pearce in a previous statement.