Back in mid-Dec., the American Sociological Association (ASA) announced that it had pulled out of its 2011 conference contract with Chicago hotels because the hotels had not settled a labor dispute with local unions. The ASA now has to find and negotiate a contract for a new conference site that (1) is large enough to accommodate hordes of sociologists and (2) relies on unionized labor to host the upcoming August conference. For some, this change has altered or put on hold plans for mini-conferences and pre-conference workshops. For others, the conference location can impact the likelihood of attending/presenting at a conference – particularly for academics at public universities, declining budgets may mean less or no support for travel and conferences, which are crucial to sharing work and building a community of peers.
Orgtheory has posted an informal poll of possible locations for the 2011 ASA annual conference; see the last option for an amusing suggestion.
For those interested in supporting hotels that use unionized labor, click this link to a website.