Last week, hotel labor union Unite Here launched the "Informed Meetings Exchange," or Inmex, a Web site designed to give meeting planners up-to-date information on labor disputes at hotels. Inmex has already signed up more than 100 organizations that spend more than $196 million annually on hotel costs and count about 418,000 meeting attendees, the union says, including the American Postal Workers Union, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association and the National Organization for Women.
Calling Inmex a "useful tool for all organizations to ensure they have the most accurate information about the hotel industry before they book meetings and events," Unite Here hospitality division president John Wilhelm said that Inmex's member organizations "represent the most lucrative, consistent and highly sought after customer segment in the hospitality industry. The largest global hotel corporations, like Hilton for instance, rely on meeting and convention business from groups like these for approximately one-third of their annual revenue."
Inmex has already drawn the ire of the hotel industry, with American Hotel & Lodging Association president Joseph A. McInerney telling the Los Angeles Times that the group's true goal is to "tarnish the reputation and financially hurt the major hotels that don't agree during negotiations with some of the issues they want, which in some cities is joining the union."