The three Claremont Resort and Spa workers suspended last week had their suspensions changed to verbal warnings and are back at work with back pay.
The workers, Andrew Petrazzouli and Julie Marie, both hair stylists, and Art Javier, the group reservations coordinator were all originally suspended for leaving their shifts early according to the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees union (HERE) local 2850.
Javier’s suspension was reduced last Monday and Pertrazzouli and Marie had theirs reduced Tuesday after all three had meetings with Human Resource representatives from the Claremont.
The Claremont did not return calls concerning the reductions.
Local 2850 said they think the Claremont used the suspensions to scare other workers because Petrazzouli and Javier—both strong union supporters—attended a rally outside the resort after they clocked out.
The resort’s parent company, KSL, has been embroiled in a labor dispute with local 2850 for almost two years, but agreed to sell the hotel to CNL, an Orlando-based real estate investment trust. KSL is trying to secure a management contract with CNL and union representatives speculate the move was also meant to show CNL they can handle the dispute.
According to the union both Pertrazzouli and Marie clock out early when there are no more clients for the day. Javier regularly clocked out 30 minutes early when he worked through his lunch break.
“The Claremont is seeing the light, that they can’t scare the workers,” said Claire Darby, one of the lead organizers with local 2850. “They realized how drastically stupid it was to retaliate.”
Javier said he did nothing out of the ordinary when he clocked out last Tuesday and went to the rally.
“It wasn’t anything I hadn’t done before,” he said. “They could have nailed me months ago if they wanted to. It’s clearly retaliatory.”
Now Javier has to ask for permission to leave early even though he says he has been self-regulated for years.
“They trying to save face,” Javier said about the reduction. “It was bad timing and a knee jerk reaction.”