Anti-Union Tactics Have to Go at Hawaii Hotel
by Tim Hull, Courthouse News
(CN) - The 9th Circuit chastised the parent of a Honolulu hotel on Thursday for a decade of union-busting and defiance of federal labor laws.
The federal appeals court affirmed a 2011 injunction from the National Labor Relations Board against HTH Corp. It forces HTH to bargain in good faith with the union that represents its workers at Pacific Beach Hotel; to rehire union representatives that were fired without cause; and to "rescind all unilateral changes to conditions of employment."
This is the second time the Honolulu-based federal appeals panel has upheld such an injunction against HTH. In 2010, the panel affirmed an injunction based on similar charges at issue today.
Despite the prior injunction, "HTH repeated the very actions that had been enjoined that year, prompting yet another round of litigation before the board," the ruling states.
The International Longshore and Warehouse Union, Local 142, and the NLRB had found that HTH consistently defied labor laws and worked against the union since 2002.
Local 142 alleged that the company had "withdrawn recognition of the union without just cause, unilaterally changed the terms and conditions of employment, threatened and terminated hotel employees who were active with the union, and failed to release to the union information necessary for collective bargaining."
HTH countered that its "demands reflected hard bargaining, not bad faith," and argued that the union had lost majority support.
Nonetheless, the NLRB ruled in 2011 that HTH had, between 2005 and 2008, illegally failed to bargain in good faith; improperly altered work loads and employment conditions without consulting the union; wrongfully fired union organizers for nonexistent or minor offenses; and attempted to sway employees away from organizing.
A three-judge panel unanimously agreed to enforce the NLRB judgment, deny HTH's challenge, and affirm the District Court injunction.
"Our rulings likely come as no surprise to the parties," Judge Mary Schroeder wrote for the court. "Two themes repeat themselves in the decade-long history of this dispute. The first is HTH's defiance of the Labor Act and its employees' statutory rights. The second is HTH's consistent losses before the agency and the courts. A skeptical adjudicator might question whether HTH has ever taken seriously its obligations under the law. We hope that we do not need to consider that question again."
LINK: Text of Court Order