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American Sociological Association to Move 2011 Annual Meeting From Chicago
Decision to Relocate Meeting a Response to Labor Dispute in Chicago Hotels

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 15, 2010 — The American Sociological Association (ASA) announced today that it will move its 2011 Annual Meeting from Chicago in response to a labor dispute involving hotels in the city, including those that had been scheduled to host the meeting.

“A very protracted labor dispute between the service workers of UNITE HERE Local 1 and Chicago hotels has been taking place and there is no end in sight,” said Sally T. Hillsman, ASA’s Executive Officer. “Without any sign of an imminent resolution, the ASA Council voted unanimously to move the meeting from Chicago because ASA cannot guarantee that the facilities and environment necessary for a successful meeting will be available.”

The Annual Meeting had been scheduled to take place from Aug. 13-16 at the Hilton Chicago and the Palmer House Hilton. ASA is currently involved in negotiations for an alternative site for the 2011 Annual Meeting and plans to announce the new location in the next few weeks.

“ASA is exploring several exciting possibilities with an emphasis on minimizing disruption to everyone’s plans,” said Hillsman, who noted that the meeting will still take place in mid August, though the exact dates may change slightly.

“The decision to move the meeting has not been an easy one,” Hillsman said. “ But, there was little alternative if we were to ensure the success of the meeting for all participants.”

Hillsman emphasized that it was essential for ASA to make the decision to relocate now, while there is still time to secure a first-rate site for the meeting. “We have waited as long as possible to see if the contract situation would be resolved in deference to our successful past partnerships with the city of Chicago and its hotels,” Hillsman said. “Nine months from now, the labor situation could very well be resolved, but we aren’t willing to take that risk. It simply would not be fair to our members.”

The contracts between Chicago union hotels and UNITE HERE Local 1 expired August 31, 2009. Since then, there have been 11 bargaining sessions, but contract negotiations have stalled.

As scheduled, ASA still plans to hold its 2015 Annual Meeting in Chicago. “We look forward to returning to Chicago in the near future,” Hillsman said.

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About the American Sociological Association
The American Sociological Association (www.asanet.org), founded in 1905, is a non-profit membership association dedicated to serving sociologists in their work, advancing sociology as a science and profession, and promoting the contributions to and use of sociology by society.