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Hyatt Hotel Workers Picket On Last Day Of Strike

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Hyatt Strike

Hotel workers strike outside the Hyatt Regency, 151 E. Wacker Dr. (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — Workers at Chicago Hyatt hotels are walking the picket lines Wednesday, for their final day of a weeklong strike.

The protest began Wednesday morning, when AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka joined hotel workers on the picket line in front of the Hyatt Regency, 151 E. Wacker Dr. Later, the picket will move to the Park Hyatt, 800 N. Michigan Ave.

When the strike began last week, Brenda Carter of the union UNITE HERE said the striking workers were standing up for other employees.

“This company has really sought to outsource and subcontract work to cheaper and more vulnerable workers, and we’re standing up against that,” she said, “and the other thing is that this company really abuses housekeepers like no other hotel company in the industry.”

The workers call Hyatt “the worst employer in the hotel industry,” and say the hotel chain has replaced career housekeepers with minimum-wage temp workers and imposed “dangerous” workloads on the full-timers who remain.

The union also accuses Hyatt of abusing its housekeepers, by making them clean up to 30 rooms a day, “nearly double what is typically required at union hotels.”

The union is also angry about a protest back on July 21, a day when the temperature climbed to 99 degrees and the heat index topped 100. As the workers picketed in front of the Park Hyatt, 800 N. Michigan Ave., someone turned on the heat lamps that are used to warm workers and guests during frigid weather.

UNITE HERE Local 1 has filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board in connection with that incident.

Hotel employees have worked without a contract for two years, and are hoping the weeklong strike will pressure the hotel to make concessions.

The Hyatt Corporation responded that it has been trying to give employees the raises they deserve for two years, but the union stalled negotiations.

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