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If the road to hell is paved with good intentions, I’m wondering if Big Labor owns the paving company.
Unite Here Local 11, a union that represents hotel workers in Los Angeles, is pushing a ballot initiative that attempts to solve the city’s homeless crisis by forcing hotels to report vacant rooms every day by 2p.m. so that the rooms can be made available, for free, to the city’s homeless population.
I’m no expert on serving the homeless population in The City of Angels, so I’ll save that discussion for the actual experts. But I can spot union misbehavior, and this is a case of a union massively failing to serve its members while it pushes a progressive political agenda.
It’s a tune we’ve heard over and over again here at AFFT. And that tune is full of seemingly good intentions that lead to bad outcomes.
Yes, it is a good thing to want to tackle homelessness. But it isn’t the union’s job to tackle a housing crisis. The union’s proposal to warehouse the homeless population on a night-by-night basis without addressing their psychological and physical needs puts the members they are responsible for representing in harm’s way. Plus, the proposed ballot initiative is seriously lacking in functional policy solutions.
An owner of an LA hotel spoke on behalf of his employees at a recent city council meeting. He said his employees are “absolutely scared and fear not just for their lives and their safety, but also for how we are treating the homeless and unsheltered. There has to be a more human way to take care of this problem.”
Interestingly, then defending the ballot initiative, a union spokesperson said thousands of Local 11 members are facing eviction.
Did you catch that? The union knows its members are woefully underpaid and yet the union continues to push progressive politics instead of serving its members. Shouldn’t the union focus on ensuring their members receive the best possible pay at their jobs so that members won’t face eviction?