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Boycott and Upcoming "Two-Day Siege" of La Playa Carmel Announced at Hotel Workers Rally
by Alex Darocy ( alex [at] alexdarocy.com )
Sunday Jul 8th, 2012 5:14 PM
La Playa Carmel Hotel & Bar has completed its $3.5 million dollar restoration, and former workers who were not rehired when the hotel changed ownership and the construction was completed were joined by community members for a "Rally to Rehire La Playa Hotel Workers" on July 6th. This is the first major protest at the hotel since the completion of the remodel, and the management has stated that it only rehired two of the 113 former La Playa employees. This, and the fact that that workers have struggled with hotel management since 2010, has prompted labor groups to call for a boycott of La Playa Carmel, which was announced at the rally, and organizers also requested a strong turnout from community members for a two-day "siege" of the hotel from 7am-7pm on July 20th and 21st. [scroll down for videos and photos]
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“We urge everybody not to patronize La Playa Carmel, until the owner rehires the former workers,” said Noe Hinojosa, a former bartender at La Playa in a press release for the boycott released by Unite Here Local 483, the labor union that represents hotel and restaurant workers in the Monterey bay area. "We are asking for the community’s help. Please do not patronize La Playa Carmel, and if you’ve already made reservations, please cancel them and visit another Monterey Bay hotel,”

“This is outrageous. Grossman didn’t even invite me for an interview, and there are many others with 15, 20, 30 years of experience with the same story." Hinojosa was a bartender at La Playa Hotel for 33 years before its change of ownership and closing last November 1st.

Approximately 150 community members and workers were joined by Monterey County Supervisor Jane Parker, Seaside Mayor Felix Bachofner, and State Assembly Member Bill Monning. Monning and Parker also wound up serving as go-betweens between community members and hotel management when another attempt was made to deliver the scroll of petitions filled with over 1000 signatures of Monterey area residents asking that the La Playa workers be rehired. The management of the hotel would not accept the petitions, so organizers of the demonstration unrolled the scroll, which stretched across both sides of the street directly in front of La Playa's lobby during the rally.

"Boycott, it means a lot, it has a real history, from Ghandi, to Martin Luther King, to Cesar Chavez," Bill Monning said, as he began a short speech during the rally.

La Playa workers have been fighting for a new union contract since their's expired with the previous owner in August of 2010, and since the sale of the hotel to Sam Grossman in November of 2011, former workers have formed La Playa Hotel Workers for Justice, and they continue to fight to get their jobs back.

La Playa's website describes the recent remodel as a "$3.5 million restoration" and goes on to describe the new La Playa facilities as, "unlike any other Carmel hotel, each room is as unique as its past, yet updated for today," with, "design details reminiscent of the early missions."

When discussing the 100 year old hotel's history, Assembly Member Monning focused on the union contract that was held for 40 years before the change in ownership. "For 40 years La Playa was known as not only one of the best destinations in the world, but as a place that respected its workers with recognition of a union contract," he said. "So this is more than a building, it is more than a hotel, it used to be a community member."

However, when Monning attempted to communicate with the management of the hotel, he found that, "there is not anyone here with the authority to accept a petition from the community." He was given a business card for Classic Hotels & Resorts, a subsidiary of Phoenix-based Grossman Company Properties, which manages La Playa from afar.

Rooms at La Playa are $450 a night, and Monning also wondered why a union contract couldn't be fit into that price plan.

Cesar Lara, the Executive Director of the Monterey Bay Central Labor Council, spoke at the rally, and he emphasized that the idea of a boycott was not to be taken lightly. "For locals the worst thing you have to do is go on strike...for a labor council a boycott is the same thing; we don't want boycotting businesses because we always feel we can work something out."

"We voted to boycott La Playa. This is not an easy decision. This is the second time we have done it as I am the director of the labor council."

The Monterey Bay Central Labor Council is one of 20 labor councils in the state of California that make up the California Labor Federation, which statewide has 1.2 million members and is affiliated with the AFL-CIO. The local council represents over 60 labor unions in Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties, or around 35,000 local workers. After communicating with local representatives, the California Labor Federation approved the boycott of La Playa on July 5, and the boycott request is currently being sent to the AFL-CIO.

Local community organizations supporting the July 6th Rally to Rehire La Playa Carmel workers included the Women's International League of Peace and Freedom, students from Cal State University Monterey Bay, CSUMB student group Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán (M.E.Ch.A.), the Alliance for Democracy, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Peace Coalition of Monterey County, California Association of Retirees, the Peace Center, the Green Party, the Monterey Democratic Party Center for Change, Occupy Monterey Peninsula, the Central Labor Council, California State University Employees Union, the Teamsters, the teachers, the electricians, the carpenters, the theatrical stage employees, as well as union members from Asilomar, Baypark, Beach Resort, Highlands Inn, the Hilton, the Hyatt, and La Playa, Pebble Beach, and the Pine Inn.

The two-day siege of La Playa Carmel is planned for Friday, July 20 and Saturday, July 21 from 7am-7pm each day.

For more information about the boycott of La Playa Carmel, see:
http://www.laplayahotelunfair.org/

For more information about Unite Here Local 483, see:
http://www.unitehere483.org/

For more information about the Monterey Bay Central Labor Council, see:
http://montereybaylabor.org/


Alex Darocy
http://alexdarocy.blogspot.com/
§Bill Monning, State Assembly Member
by Alex Darocy Sunday Jul 8th, 2012 5:14 PM
Copy the following to embed the movie into another web page:
download video:

bill-monning-la-playa-carmel-hotel-july-6-2012-2.flv (70.3MB)

§Cesar Lara, Director of the Monterey Bay Central Labor Council
by Alex Darocy Sunday Jul 8th, 2012 5:14 PM
Copy the following to embed the movie into another web page:
download video:

cesar-lara-la-playa-carmel-july-6-2012-3.flv (69.9MB)

Cesar Lara, Director of the Monterey Bay Central Labor Council, speaks and is interrupted as hotel guests arrive and check in.
§Antonia Ihnot
by Alex Darocy Sunday Jul 8th, 2012 5:14 PM
Copy the following to embed the movie into another web page:
download video:

antonia-ihnot-la-playa-carmel-hotel-july-6-2012-4.flv (8.4MB)

Antonia Ihnot worked at La Playa Hotel for 23 years.
§Picket Line, Noisemakers
by Alex Darocy Sunday Jul 8th, 2012 5:14 PM
Copy the following to embed the movie into another web page:
download video:

picket-line-noisemakers-la-playa-carmel-hotel-july-6-2012-5.flv (18.8MB)

§
by Alex Darocy Sunday Jul 8th, 2012 5:14 PM
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§
by Alex Darocy Sunday Jul 8th, 2012 5:14 PM
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§
by Alex Darocy Sunday Jul 8th, 2012 5:14 PM
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§Petitions with 1000 signatures of Monterey County residents
by Alex Darocy Sunday Jul 8th, 2012 5:14 PM
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§Bill Monning
by Alex Darocy Sunday Jul 8th, 2012 5:14 PM
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§Bill Monning
by Alex Darocy Sunday Jul 8th, 2012 5:14 PM
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§Jane Parker, Antonia Ihnot, Bill Monning
by Alex Darocy Sunday Jul 8th, 2012 5:14 PM
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Jane Parker, Antonia Ihnot, and Bill Monning look over the business card Monning was given by La Playa management after they would not accept the petitions signed by community members.
§Felix Bachofner and Bill Monning, standing next to the petitions
by Alex Darocy Sunday Jul 8th, 2012 5:14 PM
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§Rehire Loyal Workers - Do the right thing!
by Alex Darocy Sunday Jul 8th, 2012 5:14 PM
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§
by Alex Darocy Sunday Jul 8th, 2012 5:14 PM
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§
by Alex Darocy Sunday Jul 8th, 2012 5:14 PM
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§Greedy Gross-Man Unfair!
by Alex Darocy Sunday Jul 8th, 2012 5:14 PM
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§UNITE HERE!
by Alex Darocy Sunday Jul 8th, 2012 5:14 PM
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§Leonard O'Neill, Bill Monning
by Alex Darocy Sunday Jul 8th, 2012 5:14 PM
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§SOMOS EL 99%
by Alex Darocy Sunday Jul 8th, 2012 5:14 PM
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§La Playa Carmel
by Alex Darocy Sunday Jul 8th, 2012 5:15 PM
la-playa-carmel-hotel-workers-rally-july-6-2012-21.jpg
la-playa-carmel-hotel-wor...

La Playa Carmel
§La Playa Carmel
by Alex Darocy Sunday Jul 8th, 2012 5:15 PM
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la-playa-carmel-hotel-wor...

La Playa Carmel
§La Playa Carmel
by Alex Darocy Sunday Jul 8th, 2012 5:16 PM
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La Playa Carmel
§Si Se Puede
by Alex Darocy Sunday Jul 8th, 2012 5:17 PM
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La Playa Carmel
§Respect
by Alex Darocy Sunday Jul 8th, 2012 5:18 PM
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La Playa Carmel
§La Playa Carmel
by Alex Darocy Sunday Jul 8th, 2012 5:18 PM
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La Playa Carmel
§Videos on Youtube
by Alex Darocy Monday Jul 9th, 2012 12:46 AM
Here are links to some of the videos of the rally posted on Youtube:

Bill Monning
http://youtu.be/pIimAq4zNao

Cesar Lara
http://youtu.be/E8kBD20DHEY

Picket Line w/Noisemakers
http://youtu.be/-WDaP5HTvec


Alex Darocy
http://alexdarocy.blogspot.com/