Why You Might Care That This Hotel Says The Only Cockroaches Are The Ones Carrying Picket Signs

One might be *bugged* about reading of alleged cockroach infestations. However, as the Supreme Court decides on the legality of union so-called “neutrality clauses,” one of the ways unions get employers to agree to neutrality is through so-called “corporate campaigns”–and this appears to be one of those cockroach corporate campaigns.


It is no coincidence that the union that is the subject of this article is also the union involved in the case before the Supreme Court. UNITE-HERE, for years, has used a wide array of tactics to garner employers’ “neutrality.”

Apparently, as you’ll see, the use cockroaches is just one of them…

Union roach

After receiving a primarily clean bill of health, Embassy Suites Irvine (California) is peeved about allegations of cockroach infestation that, ironically, a union trying to unionize the hotel, dressed as cockroaches, is putting out to the public.

Housekeepers at Irvine Embassy Suites filed complaints last month with the Orange County Health Department alleging unsanitary practices sanctioned by hotel supervisors. They pointed to cockroach infestation, dirty drinking glasses and moldy ice machines with a cheesy-looking substance encrusted near the chute. On Halloween, costumed cockroaches and green slime monsters joined UNITE Here Local 11 staffers and Irvine city councilman Larry Agran for a press conference, repeating the alleged health code violations while handing out plastic cups to those passing through the hotel.

But would an inspection give Irvine Embassy Suites a clean bill of health?

Before answering that question, a hotel first took swipes at UNITE Here Local 11 in a letter sent to the Weekly, saying the allegations of unsanitary practices were part of its unionization effort. “Complaints to the Orange County Department of Health…are undoubtedly another tactic of the union,” writes Ken Beck, Director of Sales & Marketing with Embassy Suites Irvine. “These allegations are completely baseless and false. The hotel received passing grades on all of the items inspected.”


Not to make an unfounded accusation here but, given the nature of the union’s attacks on the Embassy Suites, these statements are rather peculiar:

Hotel workers had filed complaints saying that the drinking glasses were rinsed in guestroom sinks with cold water and dried with the same rags used to wipe down coffee machines and floors.

Yuck! Right?

But then, it’s followed up with this:

We stand 100% behind the complaints,” says UNITE Here communications specialist Leigh Shelton. “It appears to us that the health inspector did not observe housekeepers clean the rooms.”

Wait. What?!?

Here’s just a few questions the above statements make it necessary to ask:

  1. Doesn’t it sound like the union knows which housekeepers are *allegedly* rinsing glasses “in guestroom sinks with cold water and dried with the same rags used to wipe down coffee machines and floors?”
  2. If the union does know, are the hotel’s housekeepers actually sabotaging their own work on behalf of the union trying to unionize them?
  3. If they are not sabotaging their own work, then how is it that the union (or its housekeepers) knows that said housekeepers–whose responsibilities are to clean the glasses properly–are allegedly rinsing said glassed “in guestroom sinks with cold water and dried with the same rags used to wipe down coffee machines and floors?”
  4. If the union is trying to unionize the hotel and is asking the housekeepers to do a shoddy job–even to the point of sabotage–which could cause the offending housekeepers to be fired, is the union really looking out for the housekeepers they are trying to unionize?
  5. At what point do the “ends justify the means” pass the point of going too far?

You know, if no one else is going to ask those questions, someone has to.
“Truth isn’t mean. It’s truth.”
Andrew Breitbart (1969-2012)

Cross-posted on LaborUnionReport.com.

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