Power Move By Hassett, In Support Of Renaissance Workers

This move took some real guts — the folk at sage have proved a spiteful bunch.  Hassett deserves a lot of credit.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — City Councilman Terrence M. Hassett resigned from the community advisory board of the Renaissance Providence Hotel this week, saying that the hotel’s management company failed to recognize the hotel workers’ efforts to unionize.

Hassett said that Sage Hospitality, the company that manages the hotel, had been ordered by a U.S. District Court judge to proceed to a neutral arbitrator but has refused.

He also said that there was concern from community members that the company was not fully complying with the city’s First Source Ordinance, which requires that businesses that receive city subsidies give priority to local residents for new hires.

“The community I represent is suffering. Companies like Sage Hospitality that receive public tax dollars should follow the law, obey court orders and create good middle-class jobs,” Hassett said.

1 thought on “Power Move By Hassett, In Support Of Renaissance Workers”

  1. Angelo De Peri

    As the General Manager at the Renaissance Providence Hotel and for Sage Hospitality, we regret that Councilman Hassett made this a public issue without asking us for the facts surrounding his concerns. We could have helped the councilman clarify these concerns which were obviously based on the limited information he currently has at his disposal.

    There is currently no board in existence related to Sage Hospitality or the Renaissance Providence Hotel. Councilman Hassett sat on the Advisory Board of Hospitality Fund II. This is a certified community development entity in The Federal New Markets Tax Credit Program administered by CDFI Fund in Washington DC. It is our understanding that the councilman resigned verbally from this entity several months ago.

    From 2005 – 2007, Sage invested $100M in the redevelopment of the vacant and dilapidated Masonic Temple Building adjacent to the State Capitol Building. The vast majority of this money was spent in the local community, creating over 300 construction jobs for Rhode Island residents.

    Sage exceeded the goals set by the Rhode Island Economic Development Commission (RIEDC) for the employment of Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises.

    The Hotel employs 170 associates, exceeding the RIEDC set goal of 140 associates.
    51% of these associates live in the City of Providence and 90% live in the State of Rhode Island

    At the request of Councilman Hassett , Sage held multiple job fairs in Providence at NetworkRI and at the Providence Skill Center at the Providence Place Mall, working closely with Providence Connects and NetworkRI to give preference to First Source applicants.

    Per the City of Providence, Department of Planning and Development – Masonic Temple hired 147 (86%) of its associates through the First Source Program. Sage’s First Source hires represent more than twice the amount of hires from the other 17 employers combined.
    Source: City of Providence, Department of Planning and Development, Program Updates, First Source Report 12/31/07

    Sage continues to list all job applications on the employri.org web site, we provide quarterly reports of hires and open positions to First Source / Providence Connects, and we offer internships, leading to potential future employment, through Dorcas Place, Good Will Industries, and Amos House.

    With regard to the union card check neutrality issue, Sage is of the belief that the union allowed the agreement, executed in 2003, to expire prior to claiming recognition as the bargaining agent for the employees. It would be unlawful for Sage to negotiate a contract with an unrecognized union. This issue remains before the Federal Court and has not come to resolution.

    Sage takes its role in the community very seriously and works hard to ensure our associates are well trained, competitively paid, and treated with respect. We will continue to comply with all laws in the State of Rhode Island and the City of Providence, as we have always done.

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