Students at prominent Ivy League campuses and other universities have called on academic officials to pull HEI Hotels and Resorts investment from their endowment funds because of alleged unfair labor practices at HEI-managed hotels. The move has had mixed results.
An HEI spokesman claims no university has actually stopped investing in HEI, calling the push a mask for instituting card check at four non-union hotels it manages. Nigel Hurst, head of human resources for Norwalk, CT-based HEI, says the firm doesn’t object to unionization but won’t allow card check. (Card check is a process is which a union gains representation in a company when a simple majority of eligible workers sign authorization cards.)
A spokesperson for Hotel Workers Rising, an arm of the labor union UniteHere, says workers at those hotels want “a fair and mutual process” that allows unionization without “employer intimidation.” Annemarie Strassel says “HEI has never agreed to remain neutral” in such a case.