CHICAGO--UNITE HERE this week filed federal unfair labor practice charges against Anbang Insurance Group and three of its hotel operators for failing to comply with its request for information on the firm’s ownership and sources of financing. The charges come as China-based Anbang reportedly may be under pressure to sell its overseas assets, which could include its hotel portfolio.
In May, UNITE HERE affiliates in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Chicago submitted requests to Anbang and local hotel operators demanding information on Anbang’s ownership, as well as hotel management agreements and documents related to potential condominium conversions of the hotels. Anbang has not provided information responsive to the requests.
“Anbang and its operators received our request for information three months ago, but have failed to provide the information that we and our members need,” said Kurt Petersen, Co-President of UNITE HERE Local 11 in Los Angeles. “By filing these federal charges, we’re asking the National Labor Relations Board to compel disclosure.”
The charges were filed Wednesday with regional offices of the National Labor Relations Board. UNITE HERE made its information requests pursuant to federal labor law granting the union access to information about practices which could affect unionized workers at the hotels.
On July 31, Bloomberg reported that “Chinese authorities have asked Anbang Insurance Group Co., the insurer whose chairman was detained in June, to sell its overseas assets”. Anbang and the China Insurance Regulatory Commission have denied that Anbang is under pressure to sell. UNITE HERE has called on Anbang to guarantee that workers would not be fired as part of any sale.
UNITE HERE represents over one thousand workers at Anbang’s Westin St. Francis, Loews Santa Monica, and Fairmont Chicago hotels.