AMS meeting labor dispute statement

Statement from IASPM-US in regards to the labor dispute at the Hyatt Regency in San Francisco, 2011.

April 20, 2011

The American Musicological Society will be holding its 2011 meetings at the Hyatt Regency in San Francisco.  This hotel is currently one of the objects of a labor dispute with UNITE HERE Local 2, the hotel workers’ union in San Francisco. AMS has decided to honor its contract with the Hyatt Regency despite requests from the union and a petition signed by a significant number of its members requesting that it change hotels.  The reasons for this have to do with the cost of pulling out of the contract with the Hyatt.  Bearing this cost would seriously hamper the society’s ability to continue important aspects of its work, including awarding grants, fellowships and the like to its members.  At the moment, AMS is not responding to requests from Unite Here for a reconsideration of its position or even further engagement on the issues.  While the International Association for the Study of Popular Music-US branch understands the reasoning behind this decision, we feel we must identify the differences between our position and that of the American Musicological Society.

IASPM-US is an organization that fully supports worker rights.  As a consequence of this position, we will only hold meetings in hotels that treat their workers with dignity and respect.  IASPM-US stands by UNITE HERE in urging Global Hyatt to settle this matter, and all other outstanding organizing efforts by workers at their hotels, as quickly as possible and in a manner that is respectful of the workers.

Traditionally IASPM-US does not hold its conferences in hotels.  Our most recent conference illustrates the conditions under which we might do so—when holding a joint conference with another organization.  To clarify our position then, IASPM-US will only agree to a joint conference with any other organization if the partner organization is fully supportive of our position and will work with us to ensure that any hotel we choose is fully compliant with our stand.