Federal labor regulators have ordered the owner of the Los Angeles Airport Hilton Hotel to stop harassing hotel workers engaged in union organizing activity and compensate 76 workers who were suspended for organizing activities.

The ruling from the National Labor Relations Board, which was issued Tuesday but only made public late Thursday, is the latest salvo in a long-running dispute between Unite Here Local 11 and hotel parent company Fortuna Enterprises over efforts to unionize the 1,200-room hotel on Century Boulevard.

The ruling stems from a round of suspensions of LAX Hilton workers in May 2006 following a picket protest. Union officials claimed the suspensions were unjustified and that workers involved in union organizing activities had been harassed by hotel management.

In siding with the union, National Labor Relations Board Administrative Law Judge John McCarrick said that the organizing actions conducted by the suspended workers were within the bounds of protected activities and that Hilton managers had violated the workers' rights in suspending and threatening the workers.

The judge ordered Fortuna to pay the targeted workers a combined $36,000 plus interest to compensate for lost wages resulting from the suspensions.

Hotel management at the time claimed they were not harassing the picketing workers, whom they claimed were interfering with the work of other employees.

"Today's NLRB decision is wrong and the LAX Hilton is considering appealing the ruling to the full National Labor Relations Board," said hotel officials in a statement on Friday.

Union officials could be reached for comment.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, CLICK HERE.