When properties are closed for renovations or conversions, employers must take special care in dealing with workforce issues, particularly if the property’s workforce is unionized. The following discussion points may help hotel owners and their labor counsel to set the optimum strategy for their property.
- What kind of property will the hotel become upon its re-opening—a similar hotel? a hotel with a different market position? a condo hotel? straight condos?
- Will the “successorship” circumstances make it possible for the owner to choose a new workforce and avoid the union?
- Will you be obligated to re-hire your current workers upon reopening?
- Can you use the process to terminate undesirable employees?
- If you want to remain partially open for economic reasons, what are the seniority provisions in your existing labor contract? Are you willing to follow them?
- What effects will the collective bargaining agreement have on lay-offs and recalls? What is your plan for "effects bargaining" with the union?
- Are you obligated to follow WARN Act rules?
- Do you have to notify state agencies of your plans for workforce layoffs? How will you do so?
- How will workers be notified of termination?
- Do you have to pay workers’ benefits during the closure?
- How will workers be notified of the re-hiring or recall process?
- How will you maintain good will with employees during the closure?
- How will you maintain good will with the local government during the closure?
- If necessary, will you represent your position before the NLRB?
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