Thumbs down: Flaming Dove


Thumbs down: Business as usual

Opponents of the scuttled "Freedom

to Work"

ordinance fretted it represented, as Mayor

Greg Ballard

put it in his veto, "an overreaching overly burdensome

city regulation on business because it unreasonably interferes with private

entities' right to freely contract with each other." Hotel workers and

union organizers flooded the city-county council chambers to support the

effort, with many claiming that temporary agencies make agreements with their

clients which prevent the hotels from hiring temporary workers directly into

permanent staff positions. Opponents of the proposed ordinance said no one ever

produced proof that such a practice exists — at least not written a

document. The testimonials of hotel workers' experiences, it seems, were not

sufficient. Five days after the mayor's veto, Elvia Bahena, a worker

subcontracted to work at Hyatt who testified at the council hearing, was fired.

Absent of written agreements that effectively work to keep the most

impoverished among us — many new immigrants and refugees — locked

into indentured servitude, it seems the unwritten rules of business may be

alive and well.