SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 21, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --
Dear Mr. Carlson:
Yesterday, I filed an FPCC complaint pursuant to ShareBetterSF's failure to report an in-kind contribution from Pebblebrook Hotel Trust within 24 hours as required by California state law. The email mentioned in this complaint clearly shows campaign contributions that are required by law, more specifically: "Managers from all of our hotels should plan to attend...Please be willing to give employees time off to attend. We're trying to get them to shut down the streets which will help with media attention." The email also directed hotel managers to distribute information and post signs in employee spaces to "encourage support for Proposition F by hotel workers."
We are shocked and disappointed both by ShareBetterSF's failure to follow the law and their admission of teaming up with an out-of-state hotel corporation that has admitted to price gouging their customers. As reported in the Wall Street Journal last month, Mr. Bortz told investors that before the advent of home sharing, during major events their hotels had the "ability to price at maybe what the customer would describe as sort of gouging rates." Because of home sharing, Bortz said, "we've lost a lot of that ability at this point within the major markets where these events take place."
We are similarly concerned about your alliance with an anti-union corporation who, earlier this summer, switched local management firms to prevent most of their San Francisco workers from voting to join a union. As noted by San Francisco Weekly: "...a unionized workforce would ultimately have been more expensive to employ, thus eating into the bottom line. Any fear that a card check vote would end with unionization would have been justified. Every time hotel workers in San Francisco have voted through the card check method in the last 20 years, they've chosen to join the union, said Ian Lewis, Local 2's research director."
Ironically, Mr. Lewis was listed as a contact for the political rally that Pebblebrook Hotel Trust is directing their employees to attend. Isn't it strange that they are asking their workers to attend a rally sponsored by a union that they have moved heaven and earth to prevent them from joining?
Furthermore, Pebblebrook has moved to deny their employees a fair shot at joining a union even as their 2014 profits more than doubled from the previous year, going from $20 million to $47.8 million? At an investor presentation, the company even reported that hotel occupancy is at an all-time high and is expected to grow for the next three years.
A recent study by the group Cal Innovates concluded that out-of-state investment firms like Pebblebrook take 85% of the profits earned by local hotels out of our city. By comparison, 85% of income earned by short-term rental hosts remain in San Francisco with those middle-class hosts. As your ally, Pebblebrook Hotel Trust, pumps record profits out of San Francisco, it's unfortunate that you are working together behind the scenes to undermine thousands of middle class families who rely on home sharing to help make ends meet.
We trust you will remedy this issue immediately.
Home Sharers of San Francisco.
SOURCE Home Sharers of San Francisco