SANTA MONICA—Unite Here Local 11, a workers’ union with thousands of members in Santa Monica and spread across Southern California, has been targeted by the Center for Union Facts.
Unite Here Local 11, the union that represents thousands of hotel workers across Santa Monica was featured on the Center for Union Fact’s website. The organization began a media campaign against the union. It created a branch site, eyeson11.com, that focuses specifically on the Santa Monica union.
The site calls the union “California’s Worst Union” and goes on to make claims about the union’s alleged corruption. At one point the organization wrote “local officials, residents, and even union members have criticized Unite Here Local 11 for threatening Southern California’s peaceful way of life.”
The Center for Union Facts is owned and mostly paid for by former lobbyist Richard Berman, who endorsed anti-union advertising in the past. Berman heads a fiscally conservative think tank on the East Coast.
Luka Ladan, a spokesman for the Center for Union Facts, spoke to the Santa Monica Daily Press. He said that the goal of the campaign was to try “to expose the disconnection between the union’s self-serving agenda and how it’s at odds with the interest of the local residents in the place the union is organizing.”
The website argues that Unite Here Local 11 invests in hotel development, and only to increase membership. Danielle Wilson, an analyst for the local union, countered the argument indicating the union does not, in fact, have any bias toward development projects.
“We work with our members and the community to promote responsible development that reflects the interests of the people who live and work in Santa Monica,” Wilson told the Santa Monica Daily Press. “Historically, we have opposed more projects than we have supported.
In November, the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce released a Labor Peace Agreement (LPA) for leases. The LPA could be used to give the union an upper hand when bargaining.