Last year, a Seattle-based development company announced a change in plans to build a new high-rise hotel in downtown Seattle. The developer announced it would proceed with a smaller project that would have fewer guest rooms, less meeting space and, notably, no affordable housing. Company president David Thyer cited “fairly relentless” opposition by Unite Here Local 8, a hospitality workers’ union, to the project as the reason behind the decision.
The project gained the opposition of the union after the company refused to agree, in advance, on terms that would make it easier for hotel workers to unionize. Thyer explained that catering to the union’s demands would sell out “future employees who may not want to join the union.”
The original, larger project would have included “new public space around the hotel and up to 160 apartments that would have been rented to one-person households that make $46,100 or less a year. The income cap for the apartments for two-person households would have been $52,650.” The new project does not contain the affordable housing units.
Well, now Unite Here Local 8 is at it again, weaseling its way into developments projects it has no business being in. The union is no protesting a large project on land owned by the University of Washington between Fourth Avenue and Union Street. The $600 million project, proposed by Seattle developer Wright Runstad & Co., would include a 58-story office, a luxury apartment tower, and a shorter hotel.
Unite Here claims that its fight against the development is not about pressuring Wright Runstad to build a union hotel. Rather, it’s about “how the city calculated the size of the project and, based on that, how much the project will pay toward affordable housing.” Of course, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has taken the side of the union and pitted himself against UW President Ana Mari Cauce.
Interesting how Unite Here is all of a sudden so concerned with the state of affordable housing in new development projects. Not too long ago the union completely destroyed the prospect of affordable housing units in an attempt to seek its own interests.
Unite Here’s fight will, inevitably, cost time, money, and jobs… not that the union really cares.
Unions don’t care about jobs. They care about dues. They also care about using extortion, bullying, blackmail and thuggery in advancing their fingerprints into construction and maintenance work. They also care about jerking around their Democrat sycophants in the City and State governments who funnel them cozy contracts and rip off the taxpaying public. Unions are very similar to a venereal disease; it won’t necessarily kill you, but it certainly makes life difficult.
Jim Thomas says
Unions are clueless just like the Dems…Welcome to Seattle…