An arbitrator has ruled that Arisia owes the Marriott chain some $125,000 for moving its 2019 convention from two Marriott hotels in support of a strike by workers there, the group's leaders have notified members.
Arisia had signed a contract with Marriott to use the Westin Boston Waterfront and Aloft hotels for its annual convention this past January. In November, the Arisia board moved the location to the Boston Park Plaza rather than risk convention-goers crossing picket lines set up by workers who had gone on strike in October. The day after Arisia announced the move, though, the workers' union announced a settlement - but Arisia stayed with the Park Plaza.
Marriott brought an arbitration claim against Arisia for the cancellation and an arbitrator has ruled against the group and added in fees and interest - and now the group has to figure out how to pay for it all:
Whether this is a loss in excess of what Arisia can manage depends a great deal on what terms of payment can be agreed. Paying $125,000 is impossible now, but might be possible over some number of years, even with interest.
The Eboard is continuing to consult with legal counsel and attempting to negotiate with Marriott in order to clarify exactly what our options are and what the costs of these options would be.
Arbitrator's decision in the Aloft case (2.4M PDF).
Arbitrator's decision in the Westin case (1.8M PDF).