John Lam’s new Sheraton Brooklyn opens its doors

NYHTC — June 07, 2010

As reported in the Wall Street Journal, hotel developer John Lam opened a new, full-service Sheraton hotel in downtown Brooklyn on May 20, 2010. The non-union Sheraton Brooklyn, one of the many new hotels currently planned for Brooklyn, threatens our union's density and our ability to negotiate strong contracts in the future.

The Sheraton Brooklyn is the first new full-service hotel to be built in Brooklyn in 12 years. The 25-story hotel includes a restaurant, two bars, 321 rooms, and over 4,000 square feet of meeting space.

The hotel is owned by John Lam of the Lam Group. Lam has been involved in developing over 20 different hotels in New York City during the past 10 years. At one of these hotels, the Sheraton Four Points in Chelsea, Lam has refused to recognize our union, even though his employees have voted for our representation. All of his other hotels are currently non-union.

Another John Lam hotel, the Aloft Brooklyn, is slated to open in July next door to his Sheraton Brooklyn. Lam boasts that these hotels "will change the whole neighborhood."

These hotels are part of a wave of controversial development projects that are changing neighborhoods throughout the five boroughs. Some sources claim that there are as many as 40 new hotels planned or under construction in Brooklyn alone. Many more are planned for elsewhere in New York City.

If these hotels remain non-union, they will pose a serious threat to our union's strength in future contract negotiations. Reduced union density could mean givebacks in future contracts, including potential reductions in wages and benefits, and changes that could make the contract more difficult to enforce.

Pruitt, A. D. Sheraton to Duel Marriott in Brooklyn. Wall Street Journal. May 19, 2010.