Making the grade
WASHINGTON ” Wanted: Hotels with adequate convention facilities, quality restaurants and especially good labor relations.
Grading hotels and resorts on employee relations is the goal of an organization of about 100 groups that was sponsored by UNITE HERE, a labor union representing thousands of workers in the hospitality business. The organization, the Informed Meetings Exchange, or INMEX, will track which hotels have good records on employee relations and which have labor disputes.
“It will be a tremendous advantage to make sure we are making wise decisions,” said Cecilia Munoz of the National Council of La Raza. “We are a civil rights organization. For us to hold an annual conference in a hotel with a labor dispute would undercut the success of our event.”
John Wilhelm, president of UNITE HERE, said, “Many groups have shown a great interest in being better informed about where there’s a possibility of labor disputes so they don’t get tangled up in them.”
Groups in the coalition represent academics, church workers, labor, gays and lesbians, environmental activists, blacks and Hispanics. They spend about $200 million a year on hotels, union officials said.
“We also want to reward hotels and companies that have good non-discrimination practices toward employees and guests,” said John Stephens, executive director of an academic group and chairman of INMEX.
Officials with the American Hotel and Lodging Association did not offer any response.