Congress Hotel wins injunction
09/29/2009 10:38 AM
Judge Ronald Guzman has agreed with with the Congress Plaza Hotel's claim that
Ald. Robert Fioretti's use of "aldermanic prerogative" interfered with a labor dispute governed by the National
Labor Relations Act, a federal law.
Readers can download Judge Guzman's opinion by clicking here.
The Congress sued Fioretti in his official capacity as alderman in July 2007, claiming the informal city council tradition of aldermanic prerogative had prevented the hotel from securing a permit to operate a sidewalk cafe, resulting in lost profits and putting the hotel at a competitive disadvantage.
Fioretti and his lawyers from the Department of Law denied the hotel's claim. A three-day trial in federal court aired the issues in the case this past June.
"[T]he credible evidence clearly establishes that the City Council delegated its final policy-making authority with respect to the Hotel's 2006-2009 sidewalk cafe permit applications to the Alderman of the Second Ward," Guzman wrote in his opinion.
Guzman issued an injunction making it illegal Fioretti and the City of Chicago to condition issuance of a sidewalk cafe permit for the Congress on settlement of the ongoing strike at the hotel.
Around 130 housekeepers at the Congress went on strike in the summer of 2003, and remain on the picket line to this day, making the dispute one of the longest in the country.
Check Chicago Journal's print edition and Web site Thursday for the full story.