Save Santa Monica's Family Restaurants
Santa Monica’s independent and family-operated restaurants are under serious threat from Unite Here 11, a hotel union that is aggressively seeking to expand into local restaurants. The union has already sent picketers to Spitfire Grill , where none of those picketing were past or present Spitfire employees. The picketers used bullhorns at painfully loud volumes, hurting the ears of both servers and those dining outside. The protesters also scared away potential customers, robbing the restaurant of sales, and employees of their tips. The union even showed up uninvited at the home of an employee, you can view her testimony at a recent City Council hearing here.
It doesn’t have to be this way. This coercion and intimidation has been made possible by local policy decisions that have empowered Unite Here 11 to act in ways our community does not support. The first policy mistake was City Council’s decision in March of this year to eliminate noise ordinance protections on public space adjacent to commercial property between the hours of 7am and 10pm. Unite Here 11 claimed this was a free speech issue, but this is clearly false. Free speech rights protect speech content and the ability to speak (which we strongly support), they do not however provide an organization the right to use painfully loud noise as a tool of harassment to grow their membership. The second policy problem is the deceptively titled labor peace agreement requirement that the city is looking to impose on restaurants located on city property. We highly recommend you read former Mayor Nat Trives letter asking Santa Monicans to speak out on this issue.
You have the power to stop this. We ask that you join the residents, local workers, and family restaurant operators, who have signed the petition below, asking your City Councilmembers to stand up to Unite Here 11’s intimidation. We hope you will also keep this issue in mind when you vote for your Councilmembers in the 2018 election.
Learn more below:
- Former Mayor Nat Trives Accuses Union of Intimidating Family Restaurants – Santa Monica Observer – 11/01/17
- Restaurant Faces Protests Over Labor Peace Agreement – Santa Monica Daily Press – 10/25/17
- Labor Peace Agreement Requirement – City Council Study Session Staff Report
- Labor Peace Agreement Requirement – City Council Study Session Video