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Charlotte Amalie
Monday, July 15, 2024


Not enough unionized hotel workers from the Caneel Bay Resort showed up Saturday afternoon to ratify a new contract, according to local United Steelworkers of America President Luis "Tito" Morales.
On morning radio news shows Saturday, Morales called for Caneel Bay employees to attend an important meeting at the Cruz Bay Legislature. But when the 3 p.m. meeting began, only a handful of workers trickled through the doors.
"We did not have sufficient people," Morales said, explaining that many hotel workers chose to attend a company beach party being held at the same time.
About 200 members of the Steelworkers union make up the bargaining unit at St. John's oldest resort. Morales said negotiations with hotel management concluded Friday.
Asked if he was satisfied with the outcome of the contract talks, Morales declined comment until he presented the terms to his union members at a meeting to be arranged in about a week.
He also confirmed newspaper reports published earlier this week about the status of a recent union ratification vote at the St. John Westin Resort.
A report in the Virgin Islands Daily News quoted officials of the National Labor Relations Board as saying they would hold off on a union request to withdraw a challenge to the June 2 vote until they could rule on the validity of 11 challenged ballots.
In late August, Morales said he was willing to allow the 91-84 outcome to stand and wait a few months until taking a second try at establishing a bargaining unit at the Westin. On Saturday, he said reorganizing might become moot if the NLRB upholds more than seven of the 11 challenges.
With a seven-vote difference rejecting Steelworkers as of June 2, eight or more successful challenges would tip the balance in favor of the union and ratification of a Westin bargaining unit would be a done deal.
The rulings were expected to be rendered Friday but Morales said he did not know the outcome because he was negotiating with Caneel management all day Friday. He said he would announce the NLRB ruling in the coming week.

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