Unite Here Local 25 is working with housing experts and activists “to develop ways to stem the spreading plague of so-called ‘AirBnB’ short-term rentals,” writes Local 25 Executive Secretary-Treasurer John Boardman in the local’s June newsletter. The AirBnB onslaught undermines the efforts of cities like DC to increase its stock of affordable rental properties, Boardman says, as well as driving up the cost of existing housing. “They create unfair, and unsafe, competition for legitimate hotels and take jobs away from hotel workers,” he adds. “Finally, because of this unfair competition, it is more difficult for members of hotel workers’ unions, like Local 25, to win better wages and benefits.” AirBnBs are generally unregulated and untaxed, and public officials are beginning to take measures to protect the public. “Here in DC, our new Attorney General filed a lawsuit against the operator of an AirBnB for ‘operating an unlicensed residential housing business,’ and the DC Superior Court swiftly shut it down,” Boardman reports.
- photo: Airbnb critics rally in New York City