Site Selection Criteria for General Assembly
The General Assembly Planning Committee (GAPC) seeks sites that have a multicultural community committed to anti-racism and anti-oppression; that demonstrate diversity in all levels of employment, including upper management; that feature accessible hotels and convention center facilities in full compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations; and that can offer low cost housing and food options for those attendees whose attendance depends on the economic accessibility of our host city.
Convention centers and hotels that demonstrate a commitment to the environment through recycling, energy conservation, and water conservation programs are given greater consideration.
The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) supports union labor and a fair wages for hospitality industry workers and the GAPC considers local industry conditions when conducting hotel searches.
Labor Issues in Providence, RI, Site of General Assembly 2014
Last fall, the Providence Renaissance Hotel was picketed by employees claiming unfair labor practices. The hotel had recently been purchased by the Procaccianti Group. An Oct. 8 a citation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration against the Procaccianto Group resulted in two findings labeled “serious” and assigned fines of $4,000 each. In January 2014, the National Labor Relations Boardagreed to hear complaints lodged against the the Procaccianti Group regarding its labor practices.
Because the UUA supports fair wages and labor practices for hospitality industry workers, the Renaissance Hotel contract for General Assembly 2014 was terminated. Providence Business News: Unitarian Group Boycotts Renaissance Providence Hotel
In mid February, the Procaccianti Group purchased the Hilton Providence Hotel. Shortly thereafter, the hotel was picketed by employees claiming unfair labor practices.
The UUA terminated its contract with the Providence Hilton on Friday, February 28, immediately prior to the March 3 opening of General Assembly housing reservations. With the assistance of the Providence Convention and Visitors Bureau, the UUA General Assembly Office was able to secure a limited number of additional hotel rooms at the Comfort Inn in Pawtucket. We will continue trying to add to our housing reservation block between now and June.