Leaders of the largest trade unions in the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, Caribbean and Canada are protesting the decision of a large hotel chain to host a conference where the leader of the far right British National Party (BNP) Nick Griffin is scheduled to speak.
In a letter sent this week to the Westin Hotel, Workers Uniting expresses deep anger about the decision to allow an individual whose views are so offensive to so many to address a white supremacist conference on its premises.
The Westin Hotel chain has over 160 hotels and resorts worldwide. Workers Uniting, the world’s first global union representing more than three million working people is a partnership between Unite from the United Kingdom and the United Steelworkers (USW) from the United States, Caribbean and Canada.
Unite General Secretaries Derek Simpson and Tony Woodley and USW International President Leo Gerard say in the letter: “Workers Uniting is appalled that the Westin would allow an individual whose views are so offensive and abhorrent to many to hold a public address on its premises.
“You should be aware that (in the UK) a court order was made against the BNP on the grounds that their membership requirements discriminated on grounds of, among other things, race. In 1996, Griffin received a nine-month prison sentence (suspended for two years) after being found guilty of distributing material likely to incite racial hatred. As well as this, Griffin is reported to have referred to the Holocaust as the 'Holohoax'.”
Simpson, Woodley and Gerard are urging the hotel management to reconsider their decision in order to avoid serious reputational damage to their business. For the full text of the letter, click here.
Griffin is due to be the keynote speaker at the “American Renaissance” conference February 19 -21 at The Westin Washington Dulles Airport, 2520 Wasser Terrace, Herndon, Va. 20171.