By Dmitri Iglitzin on October 29, 2010
Negotiations for a union contract are not customarily conducted through advertisements in a daily newspaper. Which is why readers of last Sunday's Anchorage Daily News were doubtless surprised to see a half-page advertisement by the Sheraton Anchorage Hotel & Spa that wasn't touting the virtues of the Sheraton's facilities or bargain-basement off-season prices. Instead, the ad was an "open letter" to Marvin Jones, President of UNITE HERE Local 878, the union that represents the Sheraton's housekeepers, bell staff, banquet workers, and other hourly employees.
In this letter, the Sheraton, which the union accused more than a year ago of violating federal law by refusing to bargain in good faith for a successor agreement, now promised Local 878 that it would “negotiate a contract” if the union agreed to permit a “decertification election” to occur within 30 days.
It was a different kind of a pitch, made by a different kind of employer. How different?