by By Kaylee Hultgren | September 09, 2009

Early last week Unite Here Local Chapter 11 in Long Beach, Calif., joined by community activists and religious leaders, called for a boycott of the Hilton Long Beach & Executive Meeting Center, claiming that the property has opposed workers' efforts to unionize. Kristi Allen, the hotel's general manager, maintains that employees always have had the right to be represented by the union, but that they should not be forced to make a decision in front of union representatives. "It is irresponsible and unjust for the union and a few community leaders to call for a boycott of our hotel at the purported request of our employees," she said in a prepared statement. At least one group, the Cleveland-based United Church of Christ, has considered moving a booked meeting -- the General Synod scheduled for 2013 -- to another location, in solidarity with the workers, if the dispute isn't resolved closer to the date of the conference.