By LUKA LADAN |PUBLISHED: January 3, 2018 at 7:00 pm | UPDATED: January 4, 2018 at 9:36 am
When UNITE HERE Local 11 celebrated the recent news of a proposed $100 million tower at the Hilton Universal City, one thing was clear: Union leadership didn’t do so out of the goodness of their hearts. The union’s track record in Los Angeles suggests its preferred approach to hotel development is “more and bigger” — as long as the union benefits.
New construction in Los Angeles is the lifeblood of Local 11, one of the region’s most powerful and controversial unions. From Santa Monica to Long Beach, the union is a staunch advocate for new hotel developments — as long as the jobs are filled by unionized employees. It’s a self-reinforcing cycle: New hotels bring the promise of unionization, which leads to increased dues revenue and a heftier budget for future self-serving advocacy campaigns.