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Hotel Union Decertification Election Focus of Public Meeting

December 13, 1997

Three members of the Santa Monica City Council have scheduled a public meeting Monday to discuss allegations that managers of a beachfront hotel attempted to influence employees before a union decertification election.

On Oct. 1, employees of the Miramar Sheraton, the only unionized hotel in Santa Monica, voted 120 to 108 to oust their bargaining representative, Local 814 of the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union.

Union organizers contend that management had intimidated workers by threatening to fire union supporters and by spying on union leaders. The hotel management has denied doing anything to unfairly influence employees.

Hotel employees will speak at Monday night's meeting, which was called by council members Michael Feinstein, Paul Rosenstein and Ken Genser.

Feinstein said Friday that he had not received confirmation from the hotel management that they would attend the meeting. Bill Worcester, the hotel general manager, could not be reached for comment Friday.

"A lot of us had concerns about what was said to have gone on during the decertification campaign," Feinstein said. "The larger issue is: Are we giving living wages in our hotel industry?"

The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. in the east wing of the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, 1855 Main St.

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