Victory! HRC Moves Event to Sheraton Due To Pressure from Labor Movement
Posted by QueerToday on August 18, 2008 click title to link
HRC Staff may say publicly that the protests of their Galas have "nothing to do with organized labor," but Unite Here Local 26 just informed us that thanks to their months of lobbying HRC, they have decided to move their event to the Sheraton. Not only does HRC fail to see how ENDA is related to labor (duh!), they have also historically chosen to ignore the fact that their caterer was anti-labor and anti-gay. Now that the pressure is on, and in the spotlight they had to take action.
This is what solidarity with allied movements can achieve. The momentum, again, is on our side.
Aramark was one of the 5 lowest scoring corporations on HRC's "Equality Index" just a few years ago, but they have always catered the HRC Gala at the Hynes Convention Center. Aramark is the only company that caters events at the Hynes.
But Aramark hasn't just received low marks for LGBT support, they have a longstanding history of protest from the labor rights movement.
Labor organizations nationwide have been trying to convince Aramark to treat their workers fairly, and things have escalated as of late. On June 21, 2008 hundreds of activists
Our Unite Here! Local 26 chapter has been protesting Aramark at the Hynes Convention center.
Their website reads:
"The 350 food service workers at the Hynes Convention Center and the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center have been in contract negotiations with their employer, ARAMARK since September 2007. Throughout these negotiations there has been an atmosphere of fear and intimidation.
The National Labor Relations Board has issued a complaint against Hynes and BCEC food proivder ARAMARK for:
* Interfering with, restraining, and coercing employees in the exercise of their rights.
* Discriminating in regard to hiring, tenure or terms of employment of its employees, thereby discouraging membership in a labor organization.
* Failing and refusing to bargain collectively and in good faith."
So when HRC staff say that the protests of their Galas "have nothing to do with organized labor," we can kindly remind them that not only does ENDA have everything to do with labor but so does everything right down to who caters their fancy meals.