Schmoke vows to press hotels for data on their work forces Racial makeup, pay structure are sought

September 29, 1993|By Michael A. Fletcher | Michael A. Fletcher,Staff Writer

Baltimore Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke told the BUILD organization last night that he will convene a meeting with city hotel owners and seek detailed information about the racial makeup and pay structure of their work forces.

The mayor made his pledge at Trinity Baptist Church before more than 500 cheering BUILD delegates, who since April have been campaigning for a "social compact" linking public subsidies for downtown development to improved job opportunities for blacks.

"I am on your side of the line," Mr. Schmoke said as he was being quizzed in front of the crowd by the Rev. Douglas Miles, pastor of Koinonia Baptist Church and a leader of Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development. "I firmly believe in the compact."

Hotel owners have met several times with the mayor and BUILD, but they have refused to turn over any detailed employment information, calling the data "proprietary."

The mayor pledged to make another attempt to extract that information in an effort to avert any "disruption" of downtown hotel business -- an action that has been threatened by BUILD.

The group plans to gather 2,000 people downtown on Nov. 21 and march "hotel to hotel" to check on employment practices.

"To date, BUILD has been stonewalled and slow-danced" by the hotel owners, said the Rev. Roger Gench, a BUILD co-chair.

Mr. Schmoke, however, told delegates of the civic action group that there has been some progress. Already, a hospitality training curriculum has been launched at Southwestern High School.

The program, funded with help from the hotels, is linked to similar training programs at Baltimore City Community College and Morgan State University.

Also, Mr. Schmoke said, hotel owners have agreed to pay for "continuing education" for their employees.

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