Labor Leaders Write Letter Opposing Embassy Suites Hotel Conference Center

Proposed Hotel Conference center on Richards
Proposed Hotel Conference center on Richards

The city of Davis is considering a proposed hotel-conference center on Richards Blvd., which would replace the existing single-story 43-room University Inn and Suites Hotel and Caffé Italia restaurant with a new six-story 132-room hotel, including a +/-4,000 sf restaurant and 18,400 sf conference center. The existing structures would be demolished and the site would be cleared for the new expanded use.

On Thursday, the Davis City Council received a letter from Ty Hudson, a research analyst for UNITE HERE Local 49, which represents 3000 hotel, casino, and food service workers in the Sacramento region.

He writes, “The City Council has a choice about whether to significantly revise the City’s zoning regulations to benefit this particular project, and we hope you will base that choice on whether or not the project stands to benefit the entire community. We do not believe that the creation of poverty jobs and the exacerbation of inequality are consistent with the values held by the Davis City Council and the community as a whole.”

He expresses the concern that, while the growth of the hospitality industry in Davis “could mean the growth of good jobs with decent wages and benefits, the kind that allow families to prosper and contribute to healthy communities.” Or, he said, “it could mean poverty jobs and an increase in poverty and inequality.”

He writes, “We fear they are planning to follow a business model based on low wages, which would be terrible for the Davis community and inconsistent with its values.” Mr. Hudson concludes, “We urge you not to encourage this kind of irresponsible development, and not to give the developers the gift they are asking for, unless and until they demonstrate a real commitment to good jobs and a healthy Davis community.”

Here is the full letter addressed to Mayor Wolk and Mayor Pro Tem Robb Davis:

Dear Mayor Wolk, Mayor Pro Tempore Davis, and members of the City Council:

I am writing to express UNITE HERE Local 49’s strong opposition to the approval of the Embassy Suites hotel and conference center as currently proposed. Local 49 is the hotel, casino, and food service workers’ union in Sacramento and the surrounding counties. We represent about 3000 workers in the region, including hundreds who work in Yolo County at Cache Creek Casino.

As part of our work representing our members and advocating for the rights and wellbeing of all hospitality workers, we closely monitor and engage with hotel development throughout the region. Responsible hotel development can provide good jobs and an economic boost to a community, but irresponsible hotel development, like the proposed Embassy Suites, can contribute to the crisis of inequality and poverty that has become one of the primary issues facing California and the entire U.S. The entitlements requested by the developer of the Embassy Suites—including a Specific Plan amendment—are discretionary. The City Council has a choice about whether to significantly revise the City’s zoning regulations to benefit this particular project, and we hope you will base that choice on whether or not the project stands to benefit the entire community. We do not believe that the creation of poverty jobs and the exacerbation of inequality are consistent with the values held by the Davis City Council and the community as a whole.

Our members work in occupations such as housekeeper, dishwasher, cook, cocktail server, etc., that are often associated with low-wage, part-time, dead-end jobs, the kind that usually don’t come with benefits and contribute to the crisis of poverty and inequality in many communities.

However, after years of organizing, we have been able to turn our members’ jobs into good jobs that allow our members to make a decent living, have access to good and affordable health insurance, afford decent housing, and support their families with dignity, respect, and security. We have a long way to go, but we are proud of the progress we’ve made.

In our experience, the quality of hospitality jobs in a community has a lot to do with the decisions that city officials have made about what kind of hotel development they want to encourage. You can have high-road employers who agree to work collaboratively with their employees to create good jobs, or you can have low-road employers whose business model is based on low-wage jobs.

For example, in the hotels where our members work in downtown Sacramento, housekeepers and dishwashers make over $13 per hour, with guaranteed annual raises through 2017, and have affordable family health insurance, which costs the employer an additional $5 per hour. At Cache Creek and Thunder Valley casinos, housekeepers make almost $15, also with affordable family health insurance. On the other hand, in Napa Valley, where average room rates are almost three times what they are in Sacramento, the average housekeeper makes $11.25 per hour, and the average dishwasher only $10.41 per hour.

With the potential of full-service hotels coming to Davis, City officials have a choice to make about what kind of jobs you want a growing hospitality industry to create. Growth of the hospitality industry could mean the growth of good jobs with decent wages and benefits, the kind that allow families to prosper and contribute to healthy communities. Or it could mean poverty jobs and an increase in poverty and inequality.

The up-zoning that is being requested by the developers of the Embassy Suites will increase the value of the property significantly. It is a huge benefit to the property owners, and it should come with commensurate benefit to the community. But so far, the developers have refused to engage in a conversation about working collaboratively to create good jobs, even after repeated outreach. We fear they are planning to follow a business model based on low wages, which would be terrible for the Davis community and inconsistent with its values.

We urge you not to encourage this kind of irresponsible development, and not to give the developers the gift they are asking for, unless and until they demonstrate a real commitment to good jobs and a healthy Davis community.

Sincerely,

Ty Hudson

Research Analyst

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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80 thoughts on “Labor Leaders Write Letter Opposing Embassy Suites Hotel Conference Center”

  1. Sam

    Unite Here Local 49 does not have to pay for any parcel taxes or utility taxes to bridge funding gaps in Davis due to lack of development. If they did, then maybe the City Council should be interested in their opinion.

    It is interesting to see that their stance is unemployment is better than a lower paying job even when giving up economic growth in the downtown area.

    1. Davis Progressive

      that’s nonsense – they represent hotel employees and that is an important consideration.  and it should be discussed before the council agrees to waive requirements and grant cup’s.

      1. Sam

        “they represent hotel employees”

        Yes they do, in hotels that voted to have a union and then voted for this leadership to represent them. As far as I can tell that has not happened yet at this hotel.

        1. Davis Progressive

          and all they are attempting to do is use whatever leverage they have to get an agreement.  i don’t think it’s unreasonable.  if the city approves it, they lose a ton of leverage.

        2. Sam

          If the workers feel that they need a union to represent them they can vote one in. If the union needs to use  “leverage” to increase membership maybe they should spend more time increasing their value to their current members so that other workers will want to unionize.

    2. Barack Palin

      I’m with Sam on this.  Are we to consider or cave to every special interest that wants to get involved in our local matters?  Who cares if Unite Here Local 49 sent a letter?

      1. Davis Progressive

        of course you are – you’re anti-union.  how is it caving if the union writes a letter requesting that the city condition approval on some sort of agreement?

      2. Tia Will

        BP

        Who cares if Unite Here Local 49 sent a letter?”

        I do. At this point in time, I do not know whether or not I agree with their definition of “good jobs”, but I certainly think that their view point is one that should be considered.

        1. Barack Palin

          So should we consider every special interest group’s letter telling our City who can and cannot start up a business in Davis?  What if some pro-life group wanted our council members to ban a business due to them being pro-abortion rights?  Should we also entertain that idea and possibly waste precious council hours on it?  Before you say it, I know, another anecdote.

  2. Gunrocik

    Be interesting to see how our Assembly candidate/Mayor handles this request.  He certainly doesn’t want to alienate labor.  Nor does our Capitol Staffer/Council member who heavily relied on behind the scenes help from our fire department to get elected–and will need their help again next year.

    I don’t mind the request, I just resent that our local politics are so heavily influenced by Council members with career aspirations unrelated to what is best for the City of Davis.

  3. Frankly

    Are we to consider or cave to every special interest that wants to get involved in our local matters?  Who cares if Unite Here Local 49 sent a letter?

    Bingo!

    I don’t mind the request, I just resent that our local politics are so heavily influenced by Council members with career aspirations unrelated to what is best for the City of Davis.

    Bingo2!

    i don’t think it’s unreasonable.

    Wrongo!  But expected given the source…

     

  4. Mike Hart

    Don’t you remember the good old days when the mob showed up and just said something like “you have a nice little restaurant here, would be a pity if something were to happen here…” instead they send their mouthpiece to threaten whole projects with specious claims of “poverty wages.” This is all about pay-offs to their thugish organization.

    1. Frankly

      This reminds me of a point that labor unions are really no different than cartels.  They are in fact labor monopolies.  I find it fascinating that we put anti-trust and anti-monopoly laws on the books and regulators in place to enforce the laws… yet we allow unions to leverage labor monopolies to corner the labor market and exploit greater returns.

    2. Sam

      There is a huge difference between the mob demanding “protection payments” from business owners and the union demanding the city require an increase in dues paying employees. While both organizations enjoy an increase in revenue, only the mob actually does something for the money they receive.

  5. Dave Hart

    Mob references aside, I did not read in the union’s letter that the hotel was being asked specifically to sign a union contract with Unite/HERE.  They simply stated that decent, almost living wages were a desired outcome.  Apparently for Sam and his loving band there is nothing worse than working people using collective organization and financial resources to promote policies that benefit other working people.  How else can a business thrive without squeezing the life out of their employees?

    1. Sam

      True, they did not put in their letter, “If you do not require the hotel owners to use union construction workers (See Sacramento Arena agreement) and union hotel workers once it is built as a condition of changing the zoning we, and other unions, will no contribute to your campaign or endorse Mr. Wolk. And you know there is no way you will get elected without our support!” Along that same point the mob never says they will blow up your business, it is considered to be implied in the message.

      1. David Greenwald Post author

        Sam: Have we regressed in political discourse so far that necessitates a letter requesting the city to take into account concerns about wages is compared a mob demand to pay or face consequences? I don’t know if I agree with the letter or not, but I very much decry the mob comparison as unfair and inflammatory.

        1. Sam

          David: I can try and think of another situation where a group “requests” something be done their way and implies negative consequences if their “request” is not honored but I am unable to so far. Do you not like the mob reference because you think it implies violence? Or do you think that if their “request” is not honored there will not be any consequences?

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            do not like the mob reference because it implies an illegal act of violence or the threat of violence. This is a letter to the city, there is no threat in it, only a request. I think there is room to disagree with the views expressed in the letter without resorting to calling them “mob tactics” which is to me tantamount to namecalling.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            I don’t reveal sources as that’s a great way not to have sources. I would point out it’s a public document as it was sent to the city. I printed it because it is a local issue, we have covered the Hotel Conference Center from the standpoint of city revenue and economic development and the issue of labor and wages has been one we have covered as well. It’s part of the conversation that has not been discussed to date.

        2. Sam

          It was not my intention to infer that the union would ever be violent in my comparison. I was trying to point out the influence the union has on a city council with members that aspire to be elected to higher offices asking them to make decisions not for the good of the city, but that have positive effects for the union.

          If the union was unable to have any effect on the professional careers of the decision makers involved then their request for higher wages would be pure. I am pointing out that this is not true.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            I would prefer a rigorous policy debate without the use of pejorative analogies

        3. Barack Palin

          I’d be willing to bet, you’d be wrong.

          I’d be willing to bet you a burger and a beer.   I think you get a lot of info from the source I’m thinking of.

        4. Sam

          So something more along the lines of, this is why organizations (including corporations, not just unions)should not be able to make unlimited campaign contributions during elections because that will enable groups steer our local elected officials away from making decisions for the overall good of Davis? Or maybe next city council election the voters should pay special attention to the candidates future political aspirations due to situations like these?

          1. Don Shor

            Is this union politically active? Some are, some aren’t. Seems their contributions should be accessible online if they exist.

        5. sisterhood

           ” I don’t reveal sources as that’s a great way not to have sources. ”

          Thank you. Another reason to financially support the Vanguard.  Trustworthiness.

        6. Frankly

          Come on David, think a bit about this comment.  You are attacking Sam for using a word that you don’t like and ignoring the obvious and relative allegory.  You criticize him for “regressing” and yet you seem to regress into your own hypersensitivity.

          His point is valid.  You make the case of legality… since when does a liberal care about legality when they feel something isn’t right?

          Union behavior might be legal, but it is certainly very much similar to the basis for how a mob works shaking down business to pay them more.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            I’m attacking Sam? Really? I’m simply stating my preference that the discourse here not dip into low blows.

        7. Sam

          Unite Here is very active politically. They were just able to get a bill killed in New York that would have allowed MMA fights in that state. They did that not to help increase hotel occupancy in New York (something the bill would have done), but as retaliation to the owners of the UFC who run non-union hotels in Las Vegas.

    2. Barack Palin

      From the letter:

      But so far, the developers have refused to engage in a conversation about working collaboratively to create good jobs, even after repeated outreach.

    3. Sam

      If the hotel is built and the owners decide to “thrive” by “squeezing the life out of their employees”, then the works have the option to vote and join the union. That threat alone, along with the owners desire to employ competent workers should ensure market level wages and benefits.

  6. Don Shor

    What exactly do they want in exchange for city council approval of the zoning change? A union shop? How about if the Embassy Suites posts its planned pay and benefits scale for this hotel?

      1. Davis Progressive

        that’s a project labor agreement which would be negotiated by building trade unions.  this is a hotel worker union seeking wages for hotel employees.

        1. Dave Hart

          Or, more correctly, they are at least asking for the hotel to pay union scale if not require the hotel to sign a union contract.  Reading comprehension!

  7. mercy4all

    skepticle of unions as i am these days they show a great history of providing for their members.  our city leaders are already considering changes in minimum wage and working conditons.  this is just a voice.  the city should definitely consider this.  but what about the underpass,, even more congestion.  and the city can’t  let a major hotel in and then condition it on the city basically running the business.  let them come in and make a proposal.  i don’t see anything in the letter indicating embassy’s policy on employee wages and conditons  which one would think would be easy to find.

    1. Barack Palin

      Minimum wages should be dealt with on an overall national, state and sometimes (unfortunately) city level, not on a case by case level.  If a bushiness wants to expand to Davis and it abides by the wage laws already in place then that should be sufficient.

  8. sisterhood

    I return to Davis once a year or so to visit friends. We’ve tried most of the hotels. I will not stay in a non-union hotel if they pay worse and have worse benefits. I wonder what is the proposed maid’s salary? I wonder what it’s worth to patrons to have a nice clean room, fresh towels, sheets, and a spotless shower stall and toilet? Why is this work not valued? And where does the maid go at the end of the day? West Sac or Woodland? Can she afford to stay & live in Davis at the end of her shift, giving her  wages back to your community? Will she be driving a car, with all its emissions, to another town?

    P.S.http://www.glassdoor.com/Salary/Embassy-Suites-Salaries-E196813_P2.htm

    1. Frankly

      So while you are making your decision based on if you think the company takes good enough care of their workers, so you also consider that your demands lead to higher business costs that result in more people being unemployed and with much worse economic circumstances?   Seems that you are too narrow in your focus of concerns.

      1. sisterhood

        So sorry, I missed that the Embassy salaries were already posted here.

        Frankly,

        Can she afford to stay & live in Davis at the end of her shift, giving her wages back to your community? Will she be driving a car, with all its emissions, to another town? Would your employees be able to afford to live in Davis if you paid them 9 or 10 bucks an hour?

        1. Frankly

          Few people can afford to live in Davis unless they make at least $85,000 a year or get government subsidies.  I don’t think your “afford to live in Davis demand” can hold water.   Can service workers afford to live in San Francisco at $15 per hour?

          There is an imbalance between cost of living and reasonable wages in many places, not because the wages are too low… but because the housing costs are too high.

  9. Tia Will

    Frankly

    since when does a liberal care about legality when they feel something isn’t right?”

    Very frequently if you count me as a liberal. Of course, let’s not pass up an opportunity to make a snide comment about liberals whether or not it has any bearing on the discussion.

  10. Frankly

    Over-spending, big government politicians and those that support them have milked hotels with so many taxes and regulations… that combined with union demands has led to Airbnb and other personal home rental services that are taking a big and growing cut out of the hotel business.  This will not be a problem for Davis because we lack rent-able real estate.  But we should consider that the unions are just adding fuel to this fire from a macro perspective.

    And also, why are we not considering the impact to the cost of a room?… causing many families to not be able to afford the cost of hotel rooms.  Or in the case where they have not choice (e.g., having to stay where a child is getting hospital treatment for example) they end up more in debt or unable to pay for things they need like their medication.

    1. sisterhood

      “Airbnb and other personal home rental services that are taking a big and growing cut out of the hotel business…”

      I noticed a few private rental homes my last visit.  At least the owner has to keep the home in good repair, unlike many landlords in Davis.

      Price was reasonable, but for a short stay, hotels were a better deal.

  11. Tia Will

    Frankly

    why are we not considering the impact to the cost of a room?… causing many families to not be able to afford the cost of hotel rooms.  Or in the case where they have not choice (e.g., having to stay where a child is getting hospital treatment for example) they end up more in debt or unable to pay for things they need like their medication.”

    Some of us are taking all of those issues into consideration. But then some of us believe that none of us should ever have to worry about having a place to stay, or having food and medicine for our families, or enough for clothing, or to educate our children. Unfortunately when we talk about those things, we get shouted down as socialists, whether that is truly what we are or not.

  12. Frankly

    Note the dichotomous nature of the opposing narrative here.

    Unions are organizations of victims.

    Unions are organizations of thugs.

    Neither are completely accurate, but the latter is certainly more accurate than the former.  Now the unemployed tend to be true victims, and unions tend to swell their numbers.   So it is also accurate to point out that the unions victimize the unemployed and under-employed.

  13. PhilColeman

    Any vested interest can petition the City Council for consideration favorable to themselves, or whomever they represent. This union is trying to increase “market share.” Union membership  everywhere have been in serious decline for the past half-Century. You can’t fault them for trying, but your entitled to be cynical or scornful.

    We have only the self-serving letter to inform us on this matter. But even then, what is not mentioned still speaks to us. For example, the letter only mentions one other employer that has “good” employees in Yolo County, the Casino.

    We have several hotel and motel chains in Davis. I see not mention of their employees being represented by this union. Is it possible that no other local hotel chain is represented by this particular union, or any union? If so, this particular hotel chain under consideration–could they argue why only they are being politically pressured to hire employees satisfactory to this union organization?

  14. sisterhood

    Everyone is ignoring the crucial question here: What will happen to Cafe Italia, and where will I find a waiter who can write his name upside down, in crayon,  on my tablecloth?

    1. Matt Williams

      sisterhood, I had a wonderful dinner Thursday night where the tablecloth was covered by a piece of paper and a jar of crayons was front and center when the waiter arrived. The meal was the restaurant’s every week “Family Night for Two” with a 3-course meal for two for the fixed price of $25.00 ($12.50 apiece). We had Caesar Salad for the first course, two grilled Duck Breasts for the second course (with fried polenta and saute’d kale), and Vanilla Ice Cream with fresh blueberries, blackberries and strawberries. It was superb … all at the Putah Creek Cafe.

  15. Tia Will

    Sam

    Correct, this group is asking for the city to require the hotel owner to only employee union employees once the hotel is built as a condition to change the zoning”

    I read the letter twice to make sure that I had not missed anything, and yet I did not see this statement anywhere in the letter. What I did see was the following:

    As part of our work representing our members and advocating for the rights and wellbeing of all hospitality workers, we closely monitor and engage with hotel development throughout the region. Responsible hotel development can provide good jobs and an economic boost to a community, but irresponsible hotel development, like the proposed Embassy Suites, can contribute to the crisis of inequality and poverty that has become one of the primary issues facing California and the entire U.S.”

    Unless you are willing to completely ignore the part about advocating for the rights and wellbeing of “all hospitality workers”, I do not believe that you can substantiate the claim that the demand is for unionized workers only.

    Is anyone really advocating for employees in these full time job categories to earn less than a living wage ?  If so, on what principle do you believe that this is a desirable way for our city to proceed ? Does anyone believe that full time hotel maids or kitchen workers with a family to support will be able to just “work his or her way up” the economic ladder ?  Do you really believe that the benefits to the developers and investors in this project will just magically “trickle down” to those who provide the actual labor involved in making this project a success ? Or do you accept the reality that if workers are making less than a living wage, we will be supporting them and their families with our tax dollars all the while whining about how heavily taxed we are.

    1. Dave Hart

      Forget it, Tia.  Embassy Suites who is owned by Hilton who is owned by Blackstone Group LP is just a poor struggling company trying to so something good for Davis and the union mobsters want to gum up the works.  Just because multi-billion dollar companies are good at advocating for their own interests doesn’t mean it’s okay for low-wage workers to advocate for their interests especially with the help of a labor union.  You should know better.  While we’re at it, cycling and pedestrian groups should not be working through organizations to advocate for their vision of safer streets; consumers should not band together and form organizations to advocate for safer food and products.  All these people trying to protect the “common good” should just stop it.  Right now.  Or I’ll have to get all puffed up and have a fit!

      1. Sam

        Sorry, the Blackstone Group, LP could care less if the City requires as a condition to change the zoning that the property be staffed with union workers. Embassy Hotels are a franchise. Blackstone is going to get paid no matter what Mr. Patel spends on labor at his new hotel. Unless you are stating that Mr. Patel runs a multi-billion dollar hotel empire. He might, I don’t know.

    2. Miwok

      I read this “zoning change” and am curious what part of zoning needs to change, since there is a motel and food services on the site now?

      As far as Unions, I can only say that UC claims to have unions then does everything they can to dissect them, divide them, and confuse them. Only the Nurses have a union in the true sense of the word, and even they are not like the Teamsters, Machinists or UAW where the union supplies workers to the companies, pays them, and their benefits and pensions. None of this happens at UC.

    3. Sam

      “Unless you are willing to completely ignore the part about advocating for the rights and wellbeing of “all hospitality workers”, I do not believe that you can substantiate the claim that the demand is for unionized workers only.”

      In all other situations when unions state “But so far, the developers have refused to engage in a conversation about working collaboratively to create good jobs, even after repeated outreach.” they are looking to require a project be a union shop.

      “Is anyone really advocating for employees in these full time job categories to earn less than a living wage ?”

      I am advocating that these workers earn market wages.

      “Do you really believe that the benefits to the developers and investors in this project will just magically “trickle down” to those who provide the actual labor involved in making this project a success ?”

      No, I believe that the increased tax revenue, increase in jobs and increase in spending downtown will benefit the community. I am not interested if the owners make or lose money on the project.

      “Or do you accept the reality that if workers are making less than a living wage, we will be supporting them and their families with our tax dollars all the while whining about how heavily taxed we are.”

      If the worker is currently unemployed then they will use less of our tax dollars while gaining valuable experience that can lead to higher paying jobs.

  16. ruralknight

    As an affordable housing advocate, I support the efforts of Unite Here Local 49 in their attempts to bring good jobs that allow their members to make a decent living, have access to good and affordable health insurance, afford decent housing, and support their families with dignity, respect, and security.  I’m concerned with the lack of homes affordable in Davis to those that work these jobs and I encourage the community to think of Unite Here’s proposal as one to address the affordable housing crisis the region & state is grappling with.  One strategy for addressing this crisis should be a strategy for good jobs, so that more working people can afford the homes they already have, in addition to the homes being built in our community.

     

     
    As Davis pursues the development of larger service-sector employers, such as full-service hotels, there is a risk that we could add hundreds of low wage workers who can’t afford to live in Davis and who have to drive from miles away where they are able to find an affordable place to call home (the drive ‘til you qualify syndrome). This not only would add to our traffic problems, it contributes to the creation of a segregated community, which is not what Davis is about.
     
    On the other hand, growth of the hospitality industry could mean the growth of good jobs with decent wages and benefits, the kind that allow families to prosper and contribute to healthy communities.
     

     
    The up-zoning that is being requested by the developers of the Embassy Suites will increase the value of the property significantly. It is a huge benefit to the property owners, and it should come with commensurate benefit to the community.

     

    I urge Council to base their decision on the Specific Plan amendment in  large part on whether the hotel will provide a benefit to the community in the form of a growing middle class, or a detriment in the form of increased economic segregation, traffic, and a worsening housing crisis.  I ask the City not to rezone the property and approve the project at this time until we can be confident that the project will provide good jobs and a fair workplace and that the developer has entered into good faith negotiations with Unite Here and their members.

    1. Barack Palin

      and that the developer has entered into good faith negotiations with Unite Here and their members.

      So are you saying that any rezoning should be predicated on forcing a business to negotiate with a union even if it’s currently non-union?  Should all existing hotels in Davis also be forced to negotiate with Unite Here?

      1. ruralknight

        If a for-profit business is going to benefit from government action such as an amendment to a specific plan and/or a zoning change, than yes, I think local gov’t should do what they can do bring more benefits back to the community.  Should an existing hotel be forced to do so? If they ask for public concessions for something to benefit their business, than yes – they should ensure more benefits come back to the community and, in this case, it would be higher wages, affordable health care, etc.

        1. Barack Palin

          But you stated specifically that the hotel/conference center has to have entered into good faith negotiations with a union.  So to me it looks like you want the city to force a business to have to take on a union.  Is that even legal?  Also what gives the right to a city council to dictate to a business what it must pay workers as long as the business abides by current city, state and federal employment laws already in place?

           

        2. Sam

          For the “right” to change the zoning on the property the owner “gets” to spend over $30,000,000 on his business (creating local jobs) and generate for the City $300,000+ per year in revenue. The City is not “giving” them anything. Seems like a fair trade to me.

          You might want to ask the employees of Hostess, A&P and GM how well things worked out when unions demanded “good jobs” and a “fair workplace”. It also created businesses that were uncompetitive in the marketplace that had to file bankruptcy. I would rather take the increase in local jobs and tax revenue than a boarded up building.

  17. John D

    The part of the story that seems to be missing is “the ask” being made by the developers.  In the examples cited for justification of the union’s request, the 2 gaming casinos, represent a license to steal.   Who knows, maybe the Downtown hotel involved a loan from a union pension fund?
    All these guys want is a green light to rebuild their hotel into a bigger, better model more suited to Davis in 2015 rather than 1965.

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