December 4, 2018: Marriott Strike Ends With San Francisco Settlement, Judge Approves Subpoenas in Trump Hotel Lawsuit, LL Cool J Sues Rock The Bells Festival For Trademark Infringement

By Michele Laufik and Ian Zelaya December 4, 2018, 9:09 AM EST

1. MARRIOTT STRIKE ENDS WITH SAN FRANCISCO SETTLEMENT: Marriott International will give housekeepers in San Francisco a $4-per-hour increase and more effective protections against sexual harassment. The new contract ended a nine-week strike by 2,500 workers at seven hotels in the city—and also ended the nationwide strike of the hotel chain, which involved 7,700 workers at 23 hotels. The New York Times: “Workers at the Marriott Marquis, along with the Marriott Union Square, the Palace Hotel, the St. Regis, the W, and the Westin St. Francis, are set to return to their jobs on Wednesday. 'We look forward to welcoming our associates back at work,' said Connie Kim, a spokeswoman for Marriott. She declined to comment further. Marriott International is the world’s largest hotel chain, with management or franchise agreements under 30 brands in 130 countries and territories. It had net profits last year of $1.37 billion. The dispute involved a range of Marriott brands in Boston; Detroit; four California cities—San Jose, Oakland, San Diego, and San Francisco; and Honolulu and Lahaina, in Hawaii. The deals varied according to the cost of living and 'union density' in each city, according to Rachel Gumpert, a spokeswoman for the Unite Here union.  In San Francisco, she said, it provides 'strong wage increases' for all workers, improved pensions, and preservation of lifetime health care benefits. ... All employees who deal with guests one on one, such as housekeepers and workers who deliver room service or bags, will receive a silent GPS-enabled panic button to summon help if they feel unsafe, she said. Under old work rules, if an employee accused a guest of sexual harassment he or she could only be assured of avoiding contact with that person for a day. Now, employees can have no further contact with the guest, Ms. Gumpert said. And, if there is a 'credible report of inappropriate sexual behavior or unwanted sexual advances,' the hotel will evict the guest, she said."

2. JUDGE APPROVES SUBPOENAS IN TRUMP HOTEL LAWSUIT: A federal judge on Monday said lawyers for Washington and Maryland can start issuing subpoenas in the lawsuit that accuses President Donald Trump of using his D.C.-based Trump International Hotel to profit from his political position. Politico: “The attorneys general in Maryland and Washington say they plan to serve as many as 20 companies and government agencies with subpoenas by midday Tuesday. It’s the first time a lawsuit alleging a president violated the Constitution's emoluments, or anti-corruption, clauses has advanced to the discovery stage. A similar suit against Trump brought by Democratic lawmakers cleared an initial hurdle in federal court in Washington, while a pair of suits filed in New York were thrown out by a judge there. That decision is on appeal. None of those cases has proceeded to the discovery stage yet. The Justice Department on Friday said it would try to halt the attorneys general case with an appeal to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, but by Monday night, it had yet to file anything in that court. The department said it plans to seek a writ of mandamus, a process that would halt the legal proceedings as illegal or improper. Subpoenas will be issued to state and federal government agencies and to customers and competitors of the Trump International Hotel, located just down the street from the White House, Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh said. If Justice Department lawyers do seek to stop the case, he said he was confident the delay would be temporary. ... The suit, filed in June 2017, accuses Trump of violating two emoluments clauses of the Constitution, which limit the president’s ability to receive financial benefits from states and foreign governments. The Trump Organization says it is donating to the U.S. Treasury profits from hotel business with foreign governments, but it hasn’t explained how those amounts are calculated."

3. LL COOL J SUES ROCK THE BELLS FESTIVAL FOR TRADEMARK INFRINGEMENT: LL Cool J has filed a lawsuit against the founders of Rock The Bells, a former hip-hop music festival that originated in Southern California. The rapper has also sued the founders for cyber piracy and for keeping a website and social media platforms that use the same name of his 1985 song. Billboard: "'Rock the Bells' was the third single off LL Cool J's debut album, Radio, and peaked at No. 17 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. The rapper—whose real name is James Todd Smith—has since used the mark on merchandise and last March launched his own Rock the Bells channel on SiriusXM. Meanwhile, the Rock the Bells festival ran from 2004-2013, initially launching in Southern California and expanding to country-wide tours with international iterations. As the lawsuit states, Guerilla Division filed trademark registrations over a decade ago for use of “Rock the Bells” in association with live events and various pieces of merchandise—each of which were granted. But the Rock the Bells festival ended in 2013 after poor ticket sales and tax problems. And, last year, LL Cool J petitioned to cancel Guerilla Division's trademarks of 'Rock the Bells' on the grounds it had abandoned its use and its renewal had been fraudulently obtained. Those judgements were granted in LL Cool J's favor, without appeal, and the rapper has since proceeded to file his own trademark registrations for use of the phrase across various goods and services. Still, Guerilla Division continues to make a limited, passive use of the trademark without LL Cool J's permission by maintaining the website and the @rockthebells social media handles. After sending three letters this summer to Guerilla Division requesting the transfer of the domain name and social media handles that received no response, LL Cool J is seeking an injunction against such continued use, alleging damage or potential damage to his trademark, business reputation, and goodwill."


INDUSTRY NEWS:  Due to the memorial services for former President George H.W. Bush, the 61st Grammy Awards nominations will be announced on December 7 instead of December 5 as previously planned. Select categories will be announced live on CBS This Morning and on Apple Music at 8:30 a.m. Immediately following, at 8:45 a.m., the Recording Academy will announce nominations across all 84 categories via press release,, and the Recording Academy's social media platforms.

AUSTIN:  Where to Next? Race, a travel-based adventure race, will take place February 9, 2019 at Rogue Running by JackRabbit at 9 a.m.

LOS ANGELES:  Banc of California Stadium has appointed Cori Gadbury as its first vice president of marketing. Variety:

For information on upcoming events in Los Angeles, visit Masterplanner:

NEW YORK:  Prostate Cancer Foundation's Gala Dinner with performances by Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo will take place December 6 at Daniel.

Merrion Row Hotel & Public House opened its doors in Midtown on December 1. The 28-room hotel features a pub and restaurant with nods to Ireland in its decor, food, and service.

For information on upcoming events in New York, visit Masterplanner:

TORONTO:  QuickBooks Connect Toronto takes place December 3-5 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  Tudor Lights at the Tudor Place Historic House & Garden takes place December 6 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

YOUR NEWS: What are you doing? Tell us:

JOB BOARD: Post a job or find a job:

With contributions from Claire Hoffman in Los Angeles and Beth Kormanik, Michele Laufik, and Ian Zelaya in New York.

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