By: Paul Rosenberg
On December 9, 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (“the Court”) refused to enforce a National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) decision that a hotel unlawfully suspended hospitality workers who engaged in a work stoppage. Fortuna Enters. LP v. NLRB, D.C. Cir., No. 10-1272 (December 9, 2011). In this case, UNITE HERE – the largest hospitality union in the country – was seeking to organize employees of the hotel. While the union organizing drive was ongoing, the hotel suspended an employee pending an investigation into whether he stole property from a hotel guest. The next morning, 70-100 employees gathered in the hotel’s cafeteria demanding to speak with management regarding their co-worker’s suspension. This type of assembly is a common tactic which UNITE HERE relies upon to cause a wedge between management and the employees. In this case, the strategy proved somewhat effective.