Hastings, Deutch ask U.S. Labor Sec to step into Kravis Center labor disputeby George Bennett | June 29th, 2011
The union and the West Palm Beach performing arts venue have been at odds since 2000, when center officials broke off contract talks and stopped using union stagehands. A federal appeals court in 2008 upheld two lower court rulings that the center had engaged in unfair labor practices and ordered it to return to the bargaining table. Talks broke down in January.
“As this conflict dates back over a decade, we therefore request that you please take a stand to compel the Kravis Center to change their course of conduct once and for all,” Hastings and Deutch say in a letter to Solis.
Kravis Center officials didn’t immediately respond.
Union members have not gone on strike, but have conducted “informational pickets” outside the Kravis Center from time to time. During last year’s U.S. Senate campaign, former Gov. Charlie Crist and Democratic candidate Kendrick Meek refused to cross the picket line.
Former West Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel, who’s now a Democratic congressional candidate, and liberal comedian Bill Maher are among those who have crossed the informational pickets.