Union activists unveiled plans Monday to send a delegation to Japan this week to denounce alleged anti-union actions by the managers of the New Otani Hotel & Garden in Little Tokyo.
"People over there need to know that people here are being disrespected," said Dwight Kelly, a longtime hotel cook and a member of the delegation headed to Tokyo and Osaka.
Local 11 of the Hotel & Restaurant Employees Union has been engaged in an acrimonious organizing dispute at the Japanese-owned hotel. The union launched a boycott of the hotel in January and has sought to spread the word to tour operators, labor groups and others in Japan, where the New Otani chain is based.
Charles Ecker, a spokesman for the New Otani, called the planned Japan trip the latest "economic pressure tactic" by a union that is failing to attract substantial support among hotel workers. The boycott has depressed overall revenues only by about 1%, said Ecker, who denied union allegations of improper labor practices by management.