Thursday, February 25, 2016

Cheap Labor at the Grand Hotel? Probably Not

Sometimes things don't work out as planned.
Perhaps the business plan for the UCLA Grand Hotel assumed operation by cheap, nonunion labor. That's unlikely to happen:

Workers and students protested Thursday against the UCLA Meyer and Renee Luskin Conference Center to demand a contract that would to allow union employees to work at the new center.
About 80 people participated in two protests organized by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees 3299 union. The actions were held on the Hill and outside university police headquarters.
Protest leader Davina Woods said AFSCME 3299 is protesting UCLA’s failure to secure a formal agreement that would employ union members at the Luskin center. Woods added the union is demanding UCLA provide Luskin workers above minimum wage pay with benefits and retirement funds.
AFSCME 3299 represents about 20,000 workers across the University of California, according to its website. Protesters held signs that said “quality union jobs at Luskin,” “equal pay for equal work” and “no poverty jobs at Luskin.”
The Luskin Center, currently under construction, will be a conference center on Westwood Plaza that will feature 254 guest rooms, a restaurant, lounges and a fitness center.
Senior custodian Pattern Gondo said AFSCME 3299 workers protested to stop UCLA from outsourcing jobs at the center. Gondo said he thinks UCLA is outsourcing jobs to increase profit margins, by avoiding paying retirement benefits and what he called fair wages...

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