Today, the Chamber, along with the North San Antonio Chamber and six other important business organizations distributed a press release voicing our opposition to a request for proposal (RFP) soliciting bids for food, beverage, and retail prime concessionaire for the city’s airport. The RFP requires airport concessionaires to implement a Labor Peace Agreement (LPA), in which the employer concedes at the outset of establishing the operation at the airport not to resist a union’s organizing attempts. We believe that the LPA requirement will be detrimental and prevent locally flavored small businesses from bidding on the contract going forward, as the cost to operate at the airport will be indeterminate. As a result, we have asked the Mayor and City Council to withdraw the solicitation as a result of this onerous requirement.
The LPA waives important employer and employee rights under the National Labor Relation Board (NLRB) rules, including an employer’s right to free speech by prohibiting the ability of an employer to provide information to their employees about non-unionization. It also commits the business to card check certification as the means to unionize up front, which is a process where union organizers attempt to get a sufficient number of employees to sign cards calling for unionization. This strips an employee’s right to a secret ballot vote on whether or not to be represented by a union. More importantly, it strips employees of their privacy and exposes them to possible manipulation, or even intimidation. The decision to support union certification is a personal one and should be conducted in the same way voters elect their governments, free from the influence of those who may possess their own agenda. Our biggest fear is that this requirement may set a precedence and open the door for City Council to require labor peace agreements for other city contracts.
Other organizations joining the Chambers in their opposition include:
- The Associated Builders and Contractors – South Texas Chapter
- The San Antonio Chapter of Associated General Contractors
- The San Antonio Manufacturers Association
- The San Antonio Real Estate Council
- The San Antonio Tourism Council, and
- The San Antonio Restaurant Association.
Following the Chamber’s SA to DC trip, where we had the opportunity to speak informally to the Mayor and several members of the City Council, the Chamber’s Chairman of the Board Shaun Kennedy and President and CEO Richard Perez are formally meeting with the Mayor and City Council members to discuss this policy and request that the provision be cancelled. Now we need your help in calling and/or sending letters to the Mayor and members of City Council to voice your opposition as well. Follow this link to download the Labor Peace Agreement Letter to send to your City Councilman and Councilwoman. (Click here for City Council contact information.) The worst thing that can happen at this point in the game is to believe that others are writing and/or calling and that your voice is therefore not necessary at this time. Every voice will be key in this fight.