Labor board says Yotel Boston illegally helped United Here coerce hotel workers into joining the union

The Yotel Boston hotel in the Seaport helped Unite Here Local 26 coerce employees into joining the union, according to a complaint issued Monday by the National Labor Relations Board. A virtual hearing on the matter is scheduled for March.

a car parked on a city street: The Yotel Boston.

© Michael Dwyer
The Yotel Boston.

During the union drive, the hotel signed an agreement with Local 26, giving it access to nonpublic parts of the property and providing contact information for employees, among other actions, the complaint states. Management also publicly expressed support for the union to employees, the complaint said.

In doing so, the hotel illegally assisted the union in pressuring employees to sign cards voting to join the union, according to the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, which filed unfair labor practice charges against the hotel on behalf of four housekeepers last December.

The NLRB has long ruled against employers’ efforts to help workers get rid of unions, the foundation said in a press release, and this action is “finally applying the standard equally” to employers that aid workers in forming unions.

In July, the NLRB issued a similar complaint against Unite Here and Embassy Suites in Seattle.

“The NLRB is finally addressing the double standard that for too long has favored union bosses in their coercive card check unionization drives,” the National Right to Work foundation’s president, Mark Mix, said in a statement. “Union bosses pressure workers and get illegal assistance from employers to impose their so-called representation on workers, but they cry foul when that same assistance is given to workers attempting to remove unwanted forced representation.”

Local 26′s president, Carlos Aramayo, called the complaint “off the wall.”

“This is another last-gasp Trump administration move, similar to ending protections for birds, drilling in Alaska, and gutting the civil service,” he said. “As he’s walking out the door there’s these attempts to throw as many bombs as he possibly can.”

The Yotel workers are in the midst of negotiating their first contract, Aramayo said, but talks have been put on hold due to the pandemic.

Yotel Boston did not respond to a request for comment.

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