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News in Brief: A summary of developments across Los
Angeles County | Community News File / Santa Monica

Labor Board Overturns Election That Decertified Hotel Union

July 02, 1998

The National Labor Relations Board has overturned an election that decertified the hotel and restaurant workers' union at the Miramar Sheraton Hotel, concluding that hotel management engaged in illegal practices to keep the union out.

After the narrow defeat at Santa Monica's only unionized hotel, leaders of Local 814 of the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees union objected to the board.

Hearing officer Lawrence Gross upheld 10 of the union's objections, including accusations that management intimidated employees by stationing security guards and supervisors near the polls, prohibited pro-union employees from talking to undecided employees, and illegally monitored pro-union workers, according to his 36-page report.

Gross recommended that another election be scheduled.

"It's an enormous victory for the workers at the Miramar," said Kurt Peterson, lead organizer of Local 814. "This vindicates all we said. The hotel ran a nasty, vicious, illegal campaign against the workers and it's time for them to stop."

Hotel management could not be reached for comment.

Earlier this month, the board accused the Miramar of giving hefty raises to two anti-union employees and ordered management to compensate 228 other union workers with back wages that could total hundreds of thousands of dollars. The hotel denied any wrongdoing, and the complaint will be decided by a federal administrative judge in November, Peterson said.

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