Human management

Kahler Hotel employees express their displeasure with management during a protest on Sunday

ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) — Many Kahler Hotel employees say it’s time for a change.

“We want the Kahler to go back to what it was before,” said Mike Vale, a Kahler employee for 44 years.

“What we are doing here is not a desire. It’s a need,” said Leah Riley, an employee.

Riley worked in the Kahler’s banquet department for 20 years and says 70% of his income came from tips until management changed policy.

“He took the tip from the banquet service,” Riley said. “He decided to give $12 an hour back to what I had on average for a $36 an hour job.”

She originally wanted to work for the historic hotel because it was a lot of money for her and her family, and now she’s working six jobs just to make ends meet.

“I just had my kid, so I didn’t get a chance to watch him grow up, because I had to outsource him to babysitting to juggle six jobs,” Riley said.

The protesters seemed particularly annoyed with Javon Bea, the current owner of Kahler. The workers were in negotiations with Bea and management company Kinseth Hospitality after the last contract expired in December.

The band had many demands, including better pay, benefits, and health care from the Kahler. They also still owe back wages under a 2016 National Labor Relations Board settlement, from which no worker has yet received money.

“All they do is continually take things away,” Vale said. “There are people here who need change to be successful.”

The Kahler told us they would follow up with a comment on Monday.

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