What do you do if you’re a staunch supporter of social and economic justice, and you’ve got a big conference scheduled at a hotel involved in a labor dispute? Easy, move the event to a site where you and your progressive friends won’t have to cross picket lines, right? Not so fast.
The Independent Television Service (ITVS) is mired in a liberal’s nightmare: The group is hosting the INPUT convention of indie TV producers from around the world in San Francisco during the first week of May at the Hilton hotel—which is one of several hotels in the city being boycotted by Local 2 in a bitter union fight.
ITVS would bolt to another location, but stands to forfeit more than $600,000 it can ill afford to lose. As its Web site glumly notes of the dilemma, “Now we find ourselves in a position where we support employee health benefits; and yet, we must host this important conference.” Given that San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and the Sierra Club refuse to cross the picket lines and that Local 2 is livid about ITVS’ plans to go ahead, it could be a lonely May Day at the Hilton as the conference gets under way.
(Rory O’Connor, CEO of the indie media company Globalvision and a B&C contributor, is tracking the stand-off at www.roryoconnor.org and www.alternet.org.)