US: Airbnb has signed a contract with American joinery and carpentry union, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America [UBC].
The deal lays a promise that Airbnb will use labour from the UBC in any of its major future investment projects.
This is the third partnership between Airbnb and labour unions- the other two being a partnership with the Australian Transport Workers’ Union and cleaners’ union United Voice. The prior deals helped them promote ethical labour standards and pay rates, as well as create a stronger working relationship with local communities.
The community partnership may be important in entrenched New York City, says New York real estate publication The Real Deal, as the platform’s lobbying efforts and attempts to craft strong political alliances are often disrupted by long-standing partnerships with the hotel industry. By working alongside equally strong trade unions, the company may be able to create real alliances within the city and the state, essential for a business seeking to go public.
UBC features a 500,000 strong membership, all across North America, skilled in Carpentry, interior systems, and beyond.
UBC general vice president Frank Spencer said of the deal: “Our members have the skills, training, and professionalism that Airbnb can rely on in their initiative to provide more affordable rental opportunities for residents.”
Airbnb has been seeking alternative ways of acquiring properties to let, making a deal with New York commercial property firm RXR last April in order to test the feasibility of using commercial property for its lettings in the city. The company remains officially uninvolved though; The Real Deal reported the following company statement: “Airbnb does not own, lease, or operate any real estate projects, but instead works with partners to ensure new developments are optimised for home sharing.”
This is one of many moves made by Airbnb in anticipation of its proposed initial public offering. The company recently upgraded its Silicon Valley presence, as well as placing a patent for guest trait analysis software.