Workers: Heat Lamps Shined On Hyatt Hotel Picket Line

CHICAGO (CBS) — Union workers say someone turned on the heat lamps in blazing hot broad daylight Thursday, as they walked a picket line in front of the Park Hyatt Hotel.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Mike Krauser reports, workers at Hyatt Hotels in nine cities are walking picket lines Thursday, trying to pressure the hotel into coming to an agreement on a new contract.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Mike Krauser reports

The Park Hyatt at 800 N. Michigan Ave. was among the hotels where picketing was held, and at some point Thursday morning, someone turned on the outdoor heat lamps that are usually used in winter.

Combined with the outdoor air temperature, Linda Long says it was hotter than the Hyatt kitchen she’s worked in for eleven years.

“They put the heat lamps on us, like we were nothing,” Long said. “If the heat didn’t kill us, the heat lamps would.”

The heat lamps were turned off when the press showed up.

Gabriel Carrasquillo has been a server at Nomi Restaurant the Hyatt for five years. He says this is about subcontracting and farming out their jobs to cheaper workers.

“They’re telling us they’re meeting our needs for health insurance and salaries, but if we don’t have a job, it doesn’t matter how much they’re paying,” Carrasquillo said. “That’s why we’re still fighting.”

The union says the Boston Hyatt replaced 100 housekeepers with temps making minimum wage. That, they say, is what they’re fighting.

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