by Tula Connell, Aug 25, 2010

Ross Hyman, a research analyst for the AFL-CIO Center for Strategic Research, shares this info.

Joined by clergy and other community supporters, Hyatt hotel workers gathered outside Hyatt headquarters in Chicago yesterday to announce a boycott of the Hyatt Regency Chicago, the Park Hyatt Chicago and the Hyatt Regency O’Hare hotels. Hyatt workers, members of UNITEHERE!, have been working without a contract for nearly a year as Hyatt management continues in its insistence on cutting employee health care.  Hotel workers are now boycotting 10 Hyatt hotels across the nation.

Gabriel Carasquillo, a server at the Park Hyatt, told the crowd:

I truly believe that my health should not be a point of negotiation.

Hyatt recently marched in temporary workers into the Hyatt Regency from the same temporary agency that Hyatt used after firing all 98 of its housekeepers from its three Boston Hyatt hotels last year.

As reported in the Chicago Breaking Business, “Hyatt Hotels Corp. faced the wrath of religious leaders”:

“I think it is immoral. It’s immoral. It’s immoral for Hyatt to be treating its workers the way they are treating them: A year without a contract,” Rev. Calvin Morris boomed into a microphone outside Hyatt’s downtown headquarters. “We’re going to boycott these hotels, and we do so with good conscience.”

At the press conference, Rabbi Brant Rosen announced that 250 rabbis have signed a pledge supporting the boycott.  Rabbi Alison Abrams announced that the Central Conference of American Rabbis, which represents 2,000 Reform rabbis, issued a statement supporting the workers. Cantor Michael Davis announced that the Reform Cantors of Chicago also are supporting the boycott. This is the first position on a social justice matter that the Cantors have ever taken.

John Schafer, vice president and managing director for Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, said the hotel chain is preparing in case a strike occurs. Hyatt workers have taken several actions in recent months, including a work stoppage on May 26, 2010, a picket of Hyatt’s annual shareholders meeting on June 9, 2010, a massive demonstration outside the Hyatt Regency Chicago on July 22, 2010, and a strike vote on July 29, 2010.