I am looking forward to an exciting APSS SLEEP 2015 meeting in the beautiful Emerald City of Seattle, Washington. I am sure you will find your time there, engaged with some of the premier clinicians and researchers in sleep and circadian biology for learning and networking, an outstanding value.
The AASM was recently contacted by Unite Here! Local 8, who is encouraging our organization to boycott of the Grand Hyatt Hotel and Hyatt at Olive 8, two hotels which are available to members during SLEEP 2015, claiming that housekeeping staff have inadequate sized cleaning carts. Out of concern, the AASM queried the Hyatt hotels and also a labor and employment lawyer to receive another perspective on the situation. According to the Hyatt, Unite Here! Local 8 does not officially represent any of its employees and the hotel management has not received complaints from its housekeeping staff about the size of the cleaning carts. The labor and employment lawyer whom we retained also stated the Hyatt hotels are not in violation of labor or employment law, and advised that we should not change the plans of the AASM at this time. The Hippocratic Oath we take as physicians calls on our obligation to all fellow human beings, and so this is an issue that I and the Board of Directors take seriously. Rest assured, your Board of Directors will continue to monitor the situation with diligence.
Based upon the recent actions of Unite Here!, I anticipate that some of you may be contacted regarding their campaign. In fact, I have been contacted at my place of employment and at my home, which I find inappropriate. In addition, several members with no relationship to the issue have been either mentioned or inaccurately characterized on various social media platforms. Regardless of these tactics, we don’t anticipate any degradation to our meeting. Other professional organizations are celebrating successful meetings at this venue. I hope the information provided in this letter informs you of the complete dynamics of the situation.
As always, I and the entire Board of Directors appreciate your membership with the AASM as an ongoing contribution to our field. In the coming month you will receive more information about SLEEP 2015, and I anticipate that you will find this year’s program to be one of the most engaging yet.
Timothy Morgenthaler, MD