What is your response to the “Blackstone” issues? We have recently been approached by energetic MOSERS people who received an email from the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union (UNITE-HERE). At issue is an escalating labor dispute occurring between Hilton Hotels Worldwide currently, a company in which Blackstone has a controlling interest, and UNITE-HERE union associates. Negotiations between the union and Hilton have been happening for greater than a 12 months in various locations.
The email from UNITE-HERE that was sent to Missouri state employees included a web link for generating an e-mail form letter to MOSERS’ questioning the system’s romantic relationship with Blackstone. Blackstone is a large investment company that has both traded stock and private investment relationships publicly. MOSERS does not own any of Blackstone’s traded stock publicly; we are, however, among the many investors in a few of Blackstone’s private real estate funds. MOSERS has invested in Blackstone Real Estate Funds for their track record of generating strong investment comes back for their limited partners.
Hilton is one of many real estate purchases Blackstone has made on behalf of their limited companions over time. Blackstone’s real property funds have regularly outperformed the stock markets and are an important diversity in the MOSERS collection. What’s of paramount importance to MOSERS is the security of your retirement benefits. Strong investment results and sound business procedures are critical elements in achieving this security.
It has been our experience, since first partnering with Blackstone in 2002, that they have both of the critical elements for a successful long-term relationship. Contract discussions are never easy, yet eventually it is our expectation a compromise will be reached and everything parties involved will be well served. Some of our people have asked us how UNITE-HERE obtained their email addresses and how UNITE-HERE is even aware these are associates of MOSERS. At this point, we do not know. MOSERS didn’t provide member email or brands addresses or any other contact information to UNITE-HERE. We requested Blackstone’s perspective on the problems which were raised as concerns in the e-mail message MOSERS’ members received from UNITE-HERE. Those concerns and Blackstone’s response can be found here.
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