Should city back union votes to get b...

Should city back union votes to get bigger conventions to Indy?

There are 18 comments on the The Indianapolis Star story from May 20, 2007, titled Should city back union votes to get bigger conventions to Indy?. In it, The Indianapolis Star reports that:

The issue: Unite Here, a hotel and clothing union with 450,000 members nationwide, has asked Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson to ask the company that'll run the city's new 1,000 room J.W. Marriott convention ...

Join the discussion below, or Read more at The Indianapolis Star.

First thought

AOL

#1 May 20, 2007
Wow, talk about a no-win situation. Good luck on this one Mr. Peterson. Lean either way and you'll be blasted.
fair is fair

Chicago, IL

#2 May 20, 2007
yes, the city absolutely should require employers to allow workers to unionize. first of all, it's their legal right; second, even those on minimum wage pay some of the taxes that subsidize these projects, and third, indianapolis needs to attract more and better conventions, so why alienate groups like inmex?
wouldn't it be ironic if indy got the super bowl and hotels keeping wages at rock bottom were faced with a hotel strike when all those out-of-town big-shots were here? a debacle like that could set us back 20 years or more. all the investment in hotels and a stadium and other facilities wouldn't count for much if the wait staff, cleaning people and other workers struggling to get by walked out ...
Disgusted Taxpayer

Mentor, OH

#3 May 20, 2007
If wealthy developers can receive large tax subsidies to develop their businesses here. Will the same consideration be given to a small business seeking financial assistance for expansion. Are is this an elite club of corporate welfare applicants?
second thought

Evansville, IN

#4 May 20, 2007
What a shake-down!
Jay

San Francisco, CA

#5 May 20, 2007
Maybe the city shouldn't have ever gotten involved with conventions and hotels in the first place.

Convention centers NEVER make money, large groups get to use them for free in return for booking hotel rooms downtown. Not sure many people realize this scam.
reality bites

Peoria, IL

#6 May 20, 2007
second thought wrote:
What a shake-down!
I agree. I don't understand why people don't wnt to accept that their labor is worth what people are willing to pay for it. If you can't speak English, can barely read and wrtie in your own native language, and can't effectively deal with the guests, then why would I want to pay you more than a minimum wage? Unions raise the costs of doing business, period. If the hotel employees want a secret ballot vote, that's fine, but forcing a hotel to unionize to placate a bunch of leftist organizations who still think the killers Casto, Lenin, and Mao are heros is stupid.
I guess the thing that puzzles me is why Indianapolis has such a longing to be like the other "Big Cities" in the first place. San Francisco, LA, New York, and many others have a socialist process for hiring and shaking down the businesses, look how expensive it is to live and visit in those cities. We need to get over our inferiority complex and realize that bigger is not always better. The bigger the city, the more government involvement with the the daily life of the citizens, leads to more uneducated kids coming out of crummy schools and lends to more violence. If there are people here who want the big city ambience, then let them move to a bigger city.

Since: Jan 07

Fort Wayne, IN

#9 May 20, 2007
TAX BREAKS:

Providing tax breaks to new hotels (or any other business) constitutes unfair competition.

Since tax breaks spur economic growth, give 'em to everyone.

UNIONIZATION:

Unionization should be outside the sphere of government influence. Peterson's Democrats should neither allow it nor forbid.

The role of government is to be the referee; not a player and not the coach.
Knot-a-Clue

Fishers, IN

#10 May 20, 2007
The National Labor Relations Act allows employees certain rights. One of which is to vote on having a right to organize and thereby have solidarity in the workplace, here I must disagree with Mr. Schansberg. There is more at stake than wages. The number one reason for employees to want and need a Union is job security and safety. Working conditions follows, such as hours of service and overtime. I must ask the naysayers the following, do you have sick leave, vacation, advancement opportunity and are you assured that your pay will be given to you in a reasonable amount of time after you earn it? Where did these benefits come from and why do non-union employers give their employees these benefits? The Unions, that's where.
Thru our collective bargaining process, we ask only for a decent wage for a days work and that by the way is eight hours, with 2 breaks and a 30min lunch hour thrown in. Why is that to much to ask for the human being that just happens to clean up the mess you left in your room or at your table?
rst

Louisville, KY

#11 May 20, 2007
"Without that OK from the city, the union says it will not be able to guarantee labor peace at the convetnion center during conventions."
-Extortion, anyone?
Gary Akos

United States

#12 May 20, 2007
The reference to the United Church of Christ's recognition of the boycott needs some context that is sorely missing from this article.

1) The boycott was not supported in any way by the workers of the Connecticut Convention Center. In fact, one convention center worker, Pete Pusztai, went so far as to tell the Hartford Courant: "You're basically strangling our income. Why would we want to join a union that wants to choke us into submission to let you in? You're not the union I want."

2) The United Church of Christ was the only group out of dozens to recognize the boycott

3) With the lack of support from workers and from conventions, the boycott was ultimately suspended

4) Part of the reason the United Church of Christ moved their convention to the Hartford Convention Center was an ill-conceived $100,000 grant from the state which is being scrutinized now

5) In the end, the whole episode was an embarrassment for the United Church of Christ
TLC

Nashville, IN

#13 May 20, 2007
I am extremely curious why anyone is pushing for unionizing White Lodging. I am a White Lodging employee and currenly have the benefit of approaching my managers (even my general manager) directly about any issue I want. An informal survey of my counterparts at other downtown hotels revealed that White Lodging pays on average $1.00 more per hour for comparable positions at other hotels in downtown Indy. Perhaps those who want to change White Lodging should have checked first with those of us who would be affected by the change.
TLC

Nashville, IN

#14 May 20, 2007
Begging your pardon Mr. Moody... as a White Lodging employee, I can tell you that all employees are treated the same... and so - no Jewish employees are not allowed to wear a yamaka any more than I would be allowed to wear my cleric's collar and crucifix as a Christian Minister.

“Golden Rule still applies”

Since: May 07

Indianapolis

#15 May 20, 2007
I am curious... do you have any specific reason to believe that employees of White Lodging do not currently enjoy job security and a safe work environment? Do you have any reason to believe White Lodging associates do not have sick leave, vacation time, opportunities for advancement (these are the items you listed).

In short, do you have any reason to believe the employees of White Lodging are anxious for unionization? Have you considered that (at least in downtown Indianapolis) associates at White Lodging properties often make more than their counterparts at other hotels?

Case in point: I joined a white lodging property as a regular hourly associate and received a higher rate than I did as a supervisor at a competing property.

Maybe White Lodging associates aren't the ones that need union help.
Knot-a-Clue wrote:
The National Labor Relations Act allows employees certain rights. One of which is to vote on having a right to organize and thereby have solidarity in the workplace, here I must disagree with Mr. Schansberg. There is more at stake than wages. The number one reason for employees to want and need a Union is job security and safety. Working conditions follows, such as hours of service and overtime. I must ask the naysayers the following, do you have sick leave, vacation, advancement opportunity and are you assured that your pay will be given to you in a reasonable amount of time after you earn it? Where did these benefits come from and why do non-union employers give their employees these benefits? The Unions, that's where.
Thru our collective bargaining process, we ask only for a decent wage for a days work and that by the way is eight hours, with 2 breaks and a 30min lunch hour thrown in. Why is that to much to ask for the human being that just happens to clean up the mess you left in your room or at your table?
Libertarian

Peoria, IL

#16 May 21, 2007
Knot-a-Clue wrote:
The National Labor Relations Act allows employees certain rights. One of which is to vote on having a right to organize and thereby have solidarity in the workplace, here I must disagree with Mr. Schansberg. There is more at stake than wages. The number one reason for employees to want and need a Union is job security and safety. Working conditions follows, such as hours of service and overtime. I must ask the naysayers the following, do you have sick leave, vacation, advancement opportunity and are you assured that your pay will be given to you in a reasonable amount of time after you earn it? Where did these benefits come from and why do non-union employers give their employees these benefits? The Unions, that's where.
Thru our collective bargaining process, we ask only for a decent wage for a days work and that by the way is eight hours, with 2 breaks and a 30min lunch hour thrown in. Why is that to much to ask for the human being that just happens to clean up the mess you left in your room or at your table?
I'm self employed. I don't get sick/Vacation/FMLA or 15min. breaks twice a day. My lunch may consist of 10 minuteswhile driving in the car, or one hour while taking a relaxing break between assignments. As far as collective bargaining, you have forgotten to mention the dark side of that particular process. I worked at a factory that wanted the union in. I was bullied, spit on, and had my car tires slashed because I made it clear I didn't want a union. I have never lost a job in a non-union workplace, I was treated well because I was a good worker with something to contribute. An the union fanatics need to stop pretending that they're so wonderful and historically the heroes. Henry Ford invented Sundays off and a higher wage scale, plus a 30 min lunch break for 2 reasons; he wanted to keep the unions out and he wanted his workers to be able to buy the products they made.
Places Unions have "helped improve";
United Airlines (bankrupt)
Eastern Airlines (bankrupt, out of busienss)
Presidential Airlines (bankrupt, out of business)
Chrysler (bankrupt, sold to Daimler)
Ford (thousands laid off)
GM (thousands laid off)
Atlas Super Market (Mom and Pop store, couldn't afford the Butcher's union so they closed instead. 40 people without jobs.)
These are just a very small count of the more visible businesses that have suffered through unions.
Libertarian

Peoria, IL

#17 May 21, 2007
Kenn Gividen wrote:
TAX BREAKS:
Providing tax breaks to new hotels (or any other business) constitutes unfair competition.
Since tax breaks spur economic growth, give 'em to everyone.
UNIONIZATION:
Unionization should be outside the sphere of government influence. Peterson's Democrats should neither allow it nor forbid.
The role of government is to be the referee; not a player and not the coach.
Absolutely!
Astonished

United States

#18 May 21, 2007
The government should not be intimidated into allowing the vote.

If the union is so good at what it does let it organize the workers on its own, without the goverments help.
Holly

Miami, FL

#19 May 21, 2007
The city ends up making money from the hotel tax they impose on the hotel rooms they use while attending the convention,
Bates

Indianapolis, IN

#20 May 21, 2007
No, I do not think the city should allow a union vote. Many conventions select other cities because of the expense associate with having to utilized convention center. The obstacle to compete with cities like Louisville, San Antonio and Atlanta will only become greater if hotels become unionized. One strike will kill our convention business.

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