More on the AAA meeting situation
Quoting Thomas Sheridan <tes@...
> Re: AAA EXEC BOARD & LABOR SITUATION IN SFFellow Section Assembly Members,
> I'm having trouble with my UA email, so forgive me if you've already received
> this message:
> When I forwarded the AAA memo to members of the Anthropology & Environment
> Section, and my fellow board members, I asked them to cc me their replies. I
> also told them that I, personally, would not cross any picket lines. So far,
> the majority of section members and board members feel the same way.
> Again, speaking personally, I would love to see the AAA come out swinging and
> tell the Hilton the meeting will be cancelled unless the lockout is resolved.
> I understand the dilemma facing the AAA Executive Board. The threat of a
> lawsuit from the Hilton chain is very real, even though, as I understand it,
> the OAH won its suit or settlement against the Adams Mark hotel chain when
> they moved their meeting to St. Louis University to protest the hotel chain's
> discriminatory practices against African Americans. Nonetheless, I don't see
> how the AAA could justify holding the meeting in a hotel being picketed by
> its workers. We've passed all these high toned resolutions about only
> holding meetings in unionized hotels in cities with formal living wage
> ordinances. It would be the height of hypocrisy to continue the meeting
> unless the labor dispute is resolved.
> Given the potentially severe financial consequences of cancelation, however,
> another possible alternative is to host a ghost meeting where no one shows
> up, including the AAA leadership (I doubt many of them have been able to get
> flu shots this fall), for individual members to cancel their reservations,
> preferably at the last possible moment before losing their deposits, and for
> those of us who plan on being in the Bay area anyway to join the picket line.
> I realize the AAA as an organization could not orchestrate such action
> without exposing it to the long arm of the Hilton. But individual members
> can do anything they want.
> I much prefer cancelation. But I don't have to make that decision and live
> with its consequences.
> Tom Sheridan
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Dan Segal
> To: Dorothy Holland ; John Baker ; Daniel Varisco
> Cc: Alan Goodman ; ajgottli@... ; biella@... ;
> blimmichael@... ; brentonb@... ; catherine_lutz@... ;
> Chadmorris1@... ; christine.pettett@... ;
> conkey@... ; craig.janes@... ;
> ebrumfiel@... ; PAUL DURRENBERGER ; gclark@... ;
> heiderk@... ; hinton@... ; jsallen@... ;
> jtapia@... ; junenash@... ; kbaker@... ;
> Kideckel@... ; lambek@... ; ldbaker@... ;
> LiebowE@... ; lmille2@... ; lstanfor@... ;
> mac-marshall@... ; manglin@... ; mlsalv@... ;
> naftalyp@... ; paulect69@... ; pstrong@... ;
> rrotenbe@... ; socdmv@... ; tboellst@... ;
> tes@... ; wtrevath@...
> Sent: Wednesday, October 20, 2004 12:46 AM
> Subject: RE: AAA EXEC BOARD & LABOR SITUATION IN SF
> Thanks for your input.
> My response will be limited to a minor matter, one of clarification. You
> speak of using registration fees to offset the financial loss. If I
> understand the AAA budget process, those fees would ordinarily enter the AAA
> revenue stream, which covers the ongoing expenses of the AAA. In other
> words, to take the registration fees to cover the financial loss in this
> case, should the contract with the Hilton be cancelled, would be to take
> those same revenues AWAY from some other AAA operation. We cannot spend the
> registration fees twice: we cannot use them to cover this possible financial
> loss without de-funding something else.
> There are at least two precedents of scholarly associations cancelling
> hotel contracts for ethical reasons, since 1994. One involved the AHA, which
> cancelled a contract due to an anti-gay ordinance, and the other the OAH,
> which cancelled a contract due to significant evidence that a hotel chain
> practiced racial discrimination in its treatment of customers. Only in the
> second case was the financial loss made up: and it was made up by significant
> ADDITIONAL donations from members.
> Thanks again for your input.
> -- Dan
> From: Dorothy Holland [mailto:dholland@...]
> Sent: Tue 10/19/2004 9:05 PM
> To: John Baker; Daniel Varisco
> Cc: Alan Goodman; ajgottli@...; biella@...;
> blimmichael@...; brentonb@...; catherine_lutz@...;
> cemihovich@...; Chadmorris1@...;
> christine.pettett@...; conkey@...;
> craig.janes@...; Dan Segal; dholland@...;
> ebrumfiel@...; PAUL DURRENBERGER; gclark@...;
> heiderk@...; hinton@...; jsallen@...;
> jtapia@...; junenash@...; kbaker@...;
> Kideckel@...; lambek@...; ldbaker@...;
> LiebowE@...; lmille2@...; lstanfor@...;
> mac-marshall@...; manglin@...; mlsalv@...;
> naftalyp@...; paulect69@...; pstrong@...;
> rrotenbe@...; socdmv@...; tboellst@...;
> tes@...; wtrevath@...
> Subject: Re: AAA EXEC BOARD & LABOR SITUATION IN SF
> Dear John and Daniel,
> I appreciate John's concerns about the 1) potential financial damage to the
> AAA of cancelling the meeting and 2) how we might show solidarity with the
> union. After reading over the message from the AAA several times, it
> occurs to me that there are several ways that the financial loss to the AAA
> should we cance would and could be mitigated. One is the extent to which
> the SF Hilton rebooks the rooms. From reading the newspaper articles on
> the situation, the occupancy rate in the SF hotels is 71% or so as compared
> to a breakeven of 60%. That seems to indicate that they will find
> replacement occupants to some degree. The other way the financial hit to
> the AAA would be mitigated is if lots of conference goers donate the
> registration fee they've already paid to the AAA and don't demand it be
> reimbursed. I know I would be willing to make that donation.
> Regarding showing solidarity with the union, I find this point important
> whether the AAA cancels or not. If we do cancel, I think we should put
> some really good heads together to make sure that we make a huge and
> effective presentation about why we are cancelling the contract and
> sacrificing. (If AAA is going to rish a big financial hit then we better
> make very sure that our sacrifice does make some gains for workers and for
> unions.) Even if we don't cancel, we do need to make a symbolic statement
> that's effective!.
> Dottie Holland
> --On Tuesday, October 19, 2004 7:58 PM -0700 John Baker
> <JohnBaker@...> wrote:
> > Fellow Members,
> > I support pursuing a middle ground that would allow the AAA to continue
> > AND that would recognize the legitimacy of the walk-out AND make a
> > statement without exposing the AAA to a potentially disastrous suit AND
> > which might end up having the Hilton in even more of a losing position,
> > namely:
> > have the meetings at the Hilton as scheduled BUT encourage all of our
> > members to leave the hotel and find their lodging elsewhere AND express
> > our solidarity with the workers in both financial and public relations
> > ways.
> > For example, 1) invite the union to set up some type of coffee bar
> > outside so that we can get coffee, etc., from them instead of the hotel.
> > 2) hold a very public show of solidarity with press invited (perhaps a
> > march, or a rally, or whatever works best). 3) request a dialogue with
> > the union to coordinate our actions with them in the way that gets the
> > most publicity and support. 4) ensure that any business that the Hilton
> > loses is picked up by establishments that have been explicitly approved
> > by the union.
> > I strongly support the position of the workers and the union, but I
> > recall the financial difficulties that the AAA is only now beginning to
> > work itself back out of. I admit to feeling disappointed when I read that
> > the union was not open to any other type of action, as I feel that some
> > flexibility in this manner would show a willingness to negotiate on other
> > matters and would put the hotel in an even worse position vis-a-vis any
> > public relations campaign.
> > There is also a possibility of an Executive Board decision concerning
> > future meetings. For example, for each day past a certain date that the
> > Hilton does not either negotiate in good faith or settle (a condition to
> > be determined by the Exec Board), the AAA pledges NOT to schedule any
> > meetings in a Hilton for a year. In other words, if the situation lasts
> > for 10 days past this date, we will not negotiate to take our meeting to
> > a Hilton for 10 years (how this might affect meetings that have already
> > been booked is a detail that I do not know enough about).
> > Please understand that this is my personal position and does not reflect
> > the opinions of the members of the Society for the Anthropology of
> > Consciousness. If and when a vote by the Section Assembly becomes a
> > matter for consideration, I will ask the members of SAC for their advice
> > as to the position I should support.
> > John Baker
> Dorothy Holland
> Cary C. Boshamer Professor of Anthropology
> CB #3115
> Department of Anthropoloyg
> University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 27599
> Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired,
> signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed,
> those who are cold and not clothed. (Dwight Eisenhower, "The Chance for
> Peace" Address April 16th, 1953)
> Dorothy Holland
> Cary C. Boshamer Professor of Anthropology
> Department of Anthropology
> CB #3115
> University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
> Chapel Hill, NC 27599
> fax: 919-962-1613
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