Anti-Union consultants hired by – and staying at – Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa to suppress workers’ union organizing drive
Union avoidance consultants hired by the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa have been staying at the hotel.
In the heart of California’s wine country, the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa offers guests access to on-site geothermal mineral pools, an exclusive golf club and farm-to-table dining.
“Like the Native Americans who revered the site as a sacred healing ground, you’ll live in harmony with nature through vast open spaces, beautifully landscaped grounds, majestic redwood trees and inspiring sunsets,” boasts the resort’s website.
Starbucks employees on strike outside the flagship Capitol Hill cafe location with a giant inflatable rat in December 2022.
That purported serenity on stolen Native American land has not extended to the workers at the luxury resort where union avoidance consultants hired by and staying at the hotel for the past several months have been trying to suppress their union organizing drive.
Late last year, workers started trying to organize a union with Unite Here Local 2 in response to staffing issues that have persisted through the Covid-19 pandemic, stagnant pay as housing costs in the area have soared, and issues such as neglected infrastructure. Around 250 workers at the hotel would be included in the bargaining unit.
Workers say these issues had gone unaddressed for years until the hotel started rolling out changes to try to temper some of the grievances aired in support of the unionization effort. Amid these efforts in response to the union campaign the hotel hired several union avoidance consultants who have been staying at the hotel on and off since November 2022, surveilling workers, holding anti-union meetings and trying to dissuade workers from supporting the effort.
Tony Arguello, a banquet server at the resort for 10 years, had to move an hour away from the resort because rent in the Sonoma area has soared in recent years.