Planners clearly are not fond
of hotel unions. An incredible 87 percent of those
surveyed are unsympathetic to union methods, as they perceive them.
More than two in five (42 percent) prefer not to plan meetings with
unionized hotels -- with 4 percent outright refusing to use them --
and 52 percent say if a hotel were in a strike situation, they
would move the meeting to another hotel.
To some extent, this distaste is from personal experience. More
than one quarter of respondents (26 percent) have held a meeting at
a hotel that was experiencing union action. Also, UNITE HERE, the
hotel and textile workers’ union, has contacted the planning
department, attendees and/or boards of directors of 9 percent of
respondents in efforts to persuade the group to move their meeting
elsewhere. Not a large percentage, but still significant.
Yet, a number of planners could use education on union issues.
Only 28 percent of those surveyed are familiar with UNITE HERE, and when conducting
site selection, just 41 percent typically ask hotels when union
contracts will expire -- an important question for planners who
don’t want to hold a meeting in the midst of a strike. Still, three
quarters of respondents know to insert language in the contract to
address union unrest.
Of those planners who have had the misfortune to hold a meeting
in the middle of union action, 39 percent simplified their room
sets and banquet menus so less labor would be required, and 20
percent asked the union to pause picketing during key times in the
program. (For more information on what to do in a strike situation,
see this month’s cover story, "Strike-Proofing Your Meeting.").
Yes, entirely 13%
Cause, not methods 43%