LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--French firm Natixis Group has accepted the offer of the French branch overseeing implementation of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises to begin dialogue about a longstanding labor dispute at the Westin Long Beach, according to UNITE HERE. The French branch of the OECD was instrumental in resolving labor disputes between UNITE HERE Local 75 in Toronto, Ontario and hotel company Accor Group regarding the Novotel Mississauga and Novotel North York.
Over two years ago, non-union Westin Long Beach workers approached management to request a fair process by which they could decide whether to unionize free from harassment, intimidation and other management interference, says UNITE HERE. Hotel management initially rebuffed employees’ request, but workers are hopeful that Natixis’s acceptance of dialogue signals its willingness to end the longstanding labor dispute at the hotel by entering into a labor peace agreement with UNITE HERE Local 11.
Other investment managers active in the hospitality industry have reached labor peace agreements with UNITE HERE that have provided workers with the fair process Westin Long Beach workers have requested. Click here for a list of those investment managers, which include Blackstone Group, CIM Group and Apollo Global Management.
UNITE HERE Local 11’s OECD complaint alleges that Natixis failed to avoid and address violations of ILO core labor standards and OECD Guidelines by the hotel operator, including an anti-union intimidation campaign against workers. The hotel’s workers receive health care benefits seven times more expensive than those offered among a group of peer hotels in the Los Angeles/Long Beach market, according to one study.
The Westin Long Beach’s anti-union campaign has included captive audience meetings by a labor relations consultant, and statements threatening reduced wages and equating union support with disloyalty, alleges UNITE HERE. The use of captive audience meetings and coercive conduct to dissuade workers from organizing are prohibited by ILO Conventions 87 and 98, and, by extension, the OECD guidelines.
Following an OECD finding that Accor Group had violated OECD guidelines in Canada and Benin, a dialogue initiated and mediated by the IUF led to a successful resolution of the dispute in Canada and recognition of UNITE HERE Local 75 at the Novotel North York by Accor. UNITE HERE is an affiliate of the IUF, a global trade federation.
AEW Capital Management, a subsidiary of Natixis, oversees the hotel on behalf of its owner Utah Retirement Systems.