Ahead of December 21 Thompson foreclosure auction, workers travel to Missouri investor meeting to share their stories
This week, UNITE HERE Local 11 filed a federal unfair labor practice charge alleging that former Thompson Hollywood hotel workers were unjustly fired after engaging in concerted protected labor activity at the hotel. One of the fired workers, Jae Redlich, and a former worker at the Thompson hotel, Earl Wintron, are traveling to the Missouri Local Government Employees Retirement (LAGERS) pension fund meeting this Friday to share their experiences of mistreatment, racial discrimination, sexual harassment and disrespect at the hotel.
Missouri LAGERS has invested $75 million with a Machine Investment Group fund, and Machine Investment Group provided $72 million in financing to the Thompson and Tommie hotels in Hollywood last year. Machine Investment Group and Taconic Capital scheduled UCC foreclosure auctions for the Tommie Hollywood and Thompson Hollywood on December 21, 2022. Depending on the results of the auction, Machine and Taconic may take over control of the entity that owns these properties.
UNITE HERE Local 11 has informed Machine, Taconic and their investors that it expects any successor operator of the hotels to abide by an arbitrator’s ruling that the properties are subject to a labor peace agreement with Local 11.
In May 2022, an arbitrator ordered Hyatt—the former operator and current franchisor of the hotels— to comply with the “Memorandum of Agreement” with UNITE HERE Local 11 providing for card-check neutrality and obtain from its successor operator and franchisee, Relevant/Relevant Hospitality LLC, a written assumption of the memorandum. The Union’s continuing position, which the arbitrator upheld, is that successor operators must abide by the terms of the Memorandum, including card-check neutrality.
Now, with the support of UNITE HERE Local 11, fired workers have filed an unfair labor practice charge alleging that they were unlawfully retaliated against for speaking out about the terms and conditions of their employment, activity that is protected under federal labor law. At least two former employees, Steve Garrett and Jae Redlich, were terminated from their employment with the hotel’s food and beverage operator, Ten Five Hospitality, in August 2022.
Earl Wintron, who formerly worked at the Thompson’s Bar Terrace, filed a complaint earlier this year with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing alleging he was forced to quit following racial discrimination and sexual harassment. Management told Earl and other Hispanic employees that they were not allowed to speak Spanish and a supervisor called him a homophobic slur and accused him of dating a coworker.
In addition to these labor issues, the Tommie and Thompson face lawsuits filed by contractors alleging millions in unpaid work and congressional scrutiny surrounding their EB-5 financing.
The workers will request that Missouri LAGERS ask Machine to abide by the arbitrator’s ruling, as well as to ensure that Jae and other unjustly fired employees are returned to work.
UNITE HERE Local 11 is a labor union representing over 32,000 hospitality workers in Southern California and Arizona who work in hotels, restaurants, universities, convention centers, and airports.
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