A court found top officials from the Berkeley Radisson Marina guilty Tuesday of violating workers’ rights, including the right to unionize.
But the hotel’s general manager said he’s only interested in rulings that come down from the National Labor Relations Board – not from a mock court of disgruntled employees.
“The whole process is before the NLRB – let them decide what has to be done,” Brij Misra said early Tuesday evening, as he stood outside them hotel’s front entrance while watching the rally a few hundred yards away. “Why interfere? Let the rule of law prevail, and we’ll abide by whatever the NLRB decides.”
Employees and their supporters rallied outside the hotel Tuesday evening as part of a series of events across the country this week designed to draw attention to the struggle that some workers face when attempting to unionize.
The AFL-CIO’s Voice@Work campaign is an ideal tie-in to the Radisson struggle, said Wei-Ling Huber from the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union Local 2850. She said the workers’ attempts to form a union parallel efforts and obstacles seen throughout the United States.
Earlier this month, the NLRB agreed to accept 130 complaints filed by Radisson workers against the Boykin Management-owned hotel. Allegations include harassment, bribery of workers in an attempt to defeat unionization, and hotel management surveillance of employees attempting to unionize.
Misra declined Tuesday to respond to most of the employees’ complaints, but he did say that hotel officials “respect our employees’ right to choose or not to choose – we respect that.”
Participants in Tuesday’s rally included Mayor Shirley Dean, described by organizers as a “strong supporter” of the hotel workers.
The mayor told the crowd of several dozen people how she had just arrived back in town from the U.S. Conference of Mayors convention in Seattle, where she heard federal officials talking about the country’s strong, robust economy.
“But it’s very clear: not everyone is sharing in that prosperity, and what America is all about is that everyone should share in that prosperity, everyone should have a part in this economy,” Dean said. “And that includes all workers here.”
The Radisson is on the Alameda County Central Labor Committee’s boycott list, and is being boycotted by the City of Berkeley.
And this was a Berkeley union rally, so there had to be some theatrics. The mock court included local union leaders and hotel workers, who “convicted” Radisson managers of violating the workers’ rights.
The real ruling won’t come down from the NLRB for several months. A hearing will be held before an administrative judge in Oakland on Aug. 1.