Resolution in Support of Labor Clauses in All Hotel Meeting Room Contracting by the American Library Association
Adopted by SRRT Action Council, June 26, 2010
Whereas, “The American Library Association shall have no affiliation with, memberships in, or formal relationships with organizations which violate ALA principles and commitments to human rights and social justice as set forth in ALA's policies, procedures, and position statements and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights” (ALA Policy 9.5);
Whereas, labor disputes at American Library Association (ALA)-contracted hotels have occurred in recent years and are becoming more numerous, prompting repeated calls for cancellation of meeting room contracts and for hotel boycotts in the event of labor disputes;
Whereas, ALA has an established policy, 54.11 Library Personnel Practices, Collective Bargaining, which affirms the right of eligible library employees to organize and bargain collectively;
Whereas, numerous professional and trade associations have respected various hotel boycotts in recent years, including the California Trial Lawyers Association, which joined the 2008 Manchester Hyatt boycott;
Whereas, Section 6 of the Clayton Act (15 USC 17, one of the two main federal antitrust statutes) declares that “the labor of a human being is not a commodity or article of commerce” and as a result, case law has uniformly rejected antitrust claims against business decisions to support working people, and therefore while a trade association cannot itself organize a boycott for its own commercial purposes, a trade association's support of a union's request for a boycott in service of social justice goals is activity protected by the First Amendment and exempted from antitrust liability (Richards v. Nielsen Freight Lines, 602 F.Supp. 1224, 1245 (C.D.Cal. 1985), aff'd, 810 F.2d 898 (CA 9 1987));
Whereas, in NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware, 458 U.S. 886, 889-91, 102 S.Ct. 3409, 73 L.Ed.2d 1215 (1982), the U.S. Supreme Court confirmed that boycotting a business over its employment practices is not actionable under state or federal law due to the First Amendment; now, therefore, be it
Resolved, that the American Library Association (ALA):
1. Will inform conference attendees prior to events as to the existence of labor disputes at hotels with ALA-reserved meeting rooms; and
2. Will research and negotiate labor clauses in all future hotel contracts based on existing models of protective contract language, to require hotels to disclose to the Association any labor disputes, and to enable the Association to cancel meeting room contracts without penalty in the event of such a labor dispute.
Moved by Al Kagan. Seconded by Tiffani Conner.