Missoula leaders opt to drop labor language from "Hotel Fox" agr - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Missoula leaders opt to drop labor language from "Hotel Fox" agreement

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When the Missoula City Council reviews a proposed developer's agreement for the Hotel Fox on Monday night, it won't contain a so-called "labor peace agreement" some groups have been pushing for.

The city hopes to finalize an agreement with Hotel Fox Partners to build a new 200-room hotel and conference center on the Riverfront Triangle. But the Community Benefits Coalition wants stipulations developers will provide family-wage jobs and won't object to future union involvement.

However, the developers and the city haven't been able to come up with wording to satisfy the CBC.

"There's no requirement that you enter into a labor peace agreement," said Missoula City Attorney Jim Nugent. "There's no law that requires it, nor that requires the developer to enter into it. It's my understanding that the developer says he won't agree to what they're proposing. And so really, what's hanging in the balance potentially is whether the project goes forward."

City leaders believe the concerns can be addressed in later operational agreements. Mayor John Engen attempted one last time to include labor language, but that's been stricken after it didn't satisfy the CBC.

"They opposed the language," Nugent said. "If it sets us up for damages, which no one can tell you until the courts happen to rule on it, as a risk management you take it out. Why have the exposure that they claim exists?"

The city council will consider what to do about the standoff, and the agreement, during its regular meeting Monday night.

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