Public Officials Back Union on Kajima
Your report on Dec. 15, & #327;Coliseum & #336;s NFL Football Proposal Hits New Hurdles, & #211; may lead readers to conclude there & #336;s a division between state Sen. Richard Polanco and Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas as to whether it & #336;s appropriate for HOK, a company in which Kajima Corp. has an interest, to be involved in the proposed Coliseum renovation. Nothing in our experience would justify such a conclusion.
In fact, both elected officials have shown consistent support for Local 11 and for the New Otani workers fighting for a higher standard than Kajima & #336;s non-union hotel provides. We appreciate that and have every reason to expect it will continue.
Nevertheless, the reactions engendered by the disclosure of HOK & #336;s Coliseum role & #272; apparently now terminated & #272; confirm an impression growing in Los Angeles and beyond; namely, that dealing with Kajima companies brings with it, at least, the risk of controversy. That & #336;s a burden smart proiect owners and proponents seeking public and political support generally try to minimize, if not altogether avoid. Fortunately, competition offers desirable alternatives. HOK will not be designing the Staples Center, for example.
MARIA ELENA DURAZO
President, Hotel Employees & Restaurant Employees Union, Local 11