Connecticut-based HEI Hotels & Resorts and the labor union Unite Here have announced the foundation of a long-term partnership to improve industry-wide relations. HEI owns the San Diego Marriott La Jolla (purchased in mid-2011 for an undisclosed amount).
In May of 2012, more than a hundred members of San Diego–based Unite Here Local 30, beating pots and drums and chanting, picketed the Hilton San Diego Mission Valley, then owned by HEI. Seven other Unite Here locals around the country picketed HEI hotels. HEI then sold that hotel to Orange County's Tarsadia Hotels.
The Unite Here local also targeted the San Diego Marriott La Jolla.
"The last picket line we had there was in September," says Brigette Browning of Unite Here Local 30, squelching a rumor that the union had called off a picket of the hotel once the deal with HEI was announced.
Details of the strategic relationship have not been announced. However, Unite Here has agreed to terminate its activities against HEI and its hotels. The union had gone to university endowment funds that had invested heavily in HEI properties. Some universities dropped their HEI investments and others put pressure on the company.