Global boycott against Hyatt hotel chain continues

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A global boycott against the Hyatt hotel chain that began in late July continues, as workers fight back against long hours of physical work with low pay, unhealthy working conditions, lack of health insurance, short-term contracts, and sexual and racial harassment.

The Hyatt Hurts campaign, which was started by UNITE HERE, has been endorsed by the AFL-CIO and supported by many affiliated unions as well as 5,000 other individuals and organizations.

AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka calls the housekeepers and other Hyatt workers the "unsung heroes always in the background" who make sure hotel operations run smoothly. "We, the labor movement and our progressive friends, will make sure Hyatt does the right thing," he says. "We'll be with you every day for as long as it takes."

UNITE HERE president John Wilhelm says it is "unacceptable in 2012" that Hyatt housekeepers suffer high rates of debilitating injuries as a result of their work cleaning rooms. In May, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a formal "hazard alert" letter telling Hyatt that its housekeepers face daily ergonomic risks on the job.

Housekeepers frequently suffer from chronic injuries resulting from a job in which they routinely lift mattresses that weigh more than 100 pounds, push heavy carts across carpeted hallways, and bend up and down and climb to do their cleaning. Housekeepers at some Hyatts clean as many as 30 rooms a day, nearly double what is typically required at union hotels.

"We call on Hyatt to end its systematic abuse of housekeepers and adopt the recommendations made by the federal government to reduce the physical strain associated with housekeeping work," Wilhelm says.

Find out more online about the Hyatt Hurts campaign. Boycott organizers are encouraging supporters to join the more than 73,000 people who have already gone online and voted for Hyatt as the worst hotel employer in the country.

It should be noted that not every hotel in the Hyatt chain is covered by the boycott.

These Hyatt hotels have current UNITE HERE collective bargaining agreements:

  • Hyatt Regency Monterey (California)
  • Hyatt Hotel (Highway One Monterey)
  • Hyatt Penn's Landing (Philadelphia)
  • Hyatt Regency Dearborn (Michigan)
  • Hyatt Regency Denver at the Colorado Convention Center
  • Hyatt Regency Washington, D.C., on Capitol Hill
  • Hyatt Regency Atlanta
  • Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa and Marina (California)
  • Hyatt Regency on King (Toronto)Park
  • Hyatt Toronto
  • Hyatt Regency Vancouver
  • Grand Hyatt New York
  • Andaz 5th Avenue (New York)
  • Andaz Wall Street (New York)
  • Hyatt Rosemont (Illinois)
  • Hyatt Place San Jose (California)
  • Hyatt Place Braintree (Massachusetts)

In addition, Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa and the Grand Hyatt Kauai in Hawaii have current collective bargaining agreements with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. [AFL-CIO, UNITE HERE, Dan Gursky]

August 14, 2012