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Bill Johnson, Port Townsend, WA

I would preface this by saying I am not opposed to organized labor, although
I have never been a union member.  I must also disclose that my son works in
the hospitality industry in housekeeping as a manager, not the Hilton
Crystal City, although he has worked at the Hilton Santa Fe in the
past, which is not owned by Columbia Sussex.

That said, I would comment that I was somewhat surprised to see this
posting.  I would urge considering that Micah poses one side of this
argument.   Micah wrote; “I have been attempting to open a dialogue with the
Executive Director, Steve Haracznak, and Missy McLean, the Director of
Membership & Meetings…”  It seems a bit ingenuous to me since he quotes the
response.    His statement “Instead of taking the lead on this issue…”
troubles me.

I would be surprised if Micah is an SVU member.  That is not a requirement
to be on Flownet, nor do I think it should be.  But I would suggest that
Micah is not concerned with the issue of cost to SVU, breaking a contract is
rarely cheap, nor the fact that finding an alternative site would likely
also incur greater cost if it is even possible.  Booking conference sites in
the Washington area is difficult at best, more so if Micah's boycott is
successful.  Will Unite HERE! pay these costs to SVU?  If the contract had
yet to be signed, it would be entirely different.

I sincerely hope the housekeepers at the Crystal City Hilton achieve their
goal of improving their working conditions.  But, I believe SVU’s role in
this should be considered carefully.  I for one will do my part by
not rooming at Columbia Sussex hotels until the issues are resolved.  That
is not to say I would not attend a SVU conference in this case.  The
conference Micah writes about *-* *2011 Legislative, Regulatory &
Reimbursement Issues Course - *is, I think, as important to our working
conditions and livelihood as Micah’s issues are to his members.

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