Hyatt Hotel Workers Picket On Last Day Of Strike

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.

  • David

    It seems to me that if anyone is not happy at their job they can simply quit. There are alot of temps to take their places..

    • retphxfire

      David, I bet you are one who has approved of the GOP and their financial support for outsourcing jobs. All those kids and adults who work(ed) in sweat shops without breaks or benefits should just have kept their mouths shut…and the employees locked into businesses so they could die in a fire….all those injured on-the-job because of unsafe practices shouldn’t ask for safer onditions…being forced to take salary and benefit cuts below legal poverty limit is just an annoyane…What makes people make the kinds of omments like you just did???? You like the idea of temps where businesses can avoid paying living wages and benefits???? You should get a wake up call!

  • sick of f*****g illegals

    Don’t like it, go back to Mexico and will hire Americans.

    • Boobles

      You have heard of the North American continent and the South American continent, have you? And you do know where Mexico is, right?

      • Senora Gringa

        Um, not to point out your ignorance but Mexico is certainly not in South America. That’s a completely different continent.

    • retphxfire

      You are sick, assuming all workers are ‘illegals’. You don’t have to be a pale whte to be a citizen. …oh, btw, if you are from Mexio or anywhere in the Americas you are American…..ignorance like yours is self-inflicted.

  • wannabelieve

    That’s a solution? Seriously? In this economy NOBODY can afford to just quit! Why can’t employers just do right by their employees??

    • retphxfire

      You another one who thinks the boss can do as he pleases? You should be thanking these workers and others who have fought for generations to get a fair working situation. Thank them for minimum wages, sick leave, vacation, health insurane, safe working conditions….you know, like not being locked in unsafe work envrionments…Or would you be on the strike-breakers side, busting heads? No? Will that is part of the history, too. sheesh Just do a little homework and it will be a good thing.

      • Senora Gringa

        Slow down. Read wannabelieve’s post again. See that last line?

  • rtg

    Once upon a time, the Hyatt was considered one of the best, but they’ve slipped thru the years to the point that they are not realy considered the best anymore. Just goes to prove Hyatt is on a fast down hill track. If they don’t start treating their employees fairly, they simply won’t be around much longer. I know I have no intention of staying at a Hyatt anymore, and it won’t even be a problem, like I said, they have a lot more competition than they use to.

  • Mark

    If Americans still don’t understand that the middle class and workers are under assault when will they. Burn the f…… hotel down.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Weather Reports Delivered To You!SIGN UP NOW: Get daily weather reports every morning from meteorologist Steve Baskerville!
CBS Sports Radio RoundupGet your latest sports talk from across the country.

Listen Live