Historians Honor Picket Line

Honoring a labor boycott, the Organization of American Historians is moving its annual meeting from San Francisco to San Jose.
February 16, 2005

The Organization of American Historians announced Tuesday that it is relocating its annual meeting, which starts March 31, to San Jose because of a labor dispute.

The meeting had been scheduled to take place at the Hilton San Francisco, which is among a group of hotels in that city that are facing a boycott because of prolonged and contentious contract negotiations with their unions.

The OAH last week surveyed more than 900 people who have registered for the meeting. Of the nearly 500 who responded, three-quarters said that they would not cross a picket line to attend. The organization said that it had "concerns about asking our members to cross a union picket line" and financial worries as well. The group could have faced more than $400,000 in charges for empty hotel rooms -- even if it had gone ahead with the meeting at the Hilton.

Even though the OAH will face a similar charge for moving from the Hilton at a late date, it has decided to do so.

The statement published on the OAH Web site assured members that the hotels that will be used in San Jose are unionized and not under boycott. The OAH is also appealing for donations to cover the losses it will face because of the move.


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