Thousands of Hyatt hotel workers in four U.S. cities -- Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Honolulu -- have launched week-long strikes, according to Unite Here, the workers’ union. According to a statement issued by Unite Here, Hyatt has replaced career housekeepers with minimum wage temporary workers and imposed dangerous workloads on those housekeepers who remain.
In July, Hyatt reportedly turned heat lamps on striking workers in Chicago during a heat wave. In Boston, Hyatt fired its entire housekeeping staff at three non-union hotels, replacing women who had worked at Hyatt for decades with temporary workers earning minimum wage, according to the union.
Hyatt workers have called for boycotts at 17 Hyatt properties and have led dozens of public demonstrations all across North America. “Hyatt workers are waging a crucial struggle,” said John Wilhelm, president of Unite Here, a union representing 250,000 hotel and other hospitality workers throughout North America.
Contracts for striking workers in Chicago and San Francisco expired in August 2009, in Los Angeles in November 2009, and in Honolulu in June 2010. Workers in each of these cities have reached agreements with other major hotel companies, such as Hilton and Starwood, according to the union This week's strike affects approximately 3,000 unionized hotel workers at six hotel properties across North America, including the largest Hyatt property in the world, the Hyatt Regency Chicago. For more information, visit www.HotelWorkersRising.org or www.hyatt.com.