JLC Supports Striking Hyatt Workers
September 20, 2011
By Neal Tepel
The Jewish Labor Committee announced its support for the thousands of Hyatt Hotel workers who went on strike yesterday in four cities across the United States: Chicago, Honolulu, Los Angeles and San Francisco. The week-long strike was called by their union, UNITE HERE, to draw attention to the abusive treatment of the housekeeping staff.
According to a recent study published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine, of 50 hotel properties from five different hotel chains, Hyatt housekeepers had the highest injury rate of all housekeepers studied when compared by hotel company. The Hyatt Hotel Company has also replaced career housekeepers with subcontracted temporary workers earning minimum wage in several of its hotels.
“The Jewish Labor Committee is proud to have stood with Hyatt workers since the company fired nearly its entire housekeeping staff in three of its non-union hotels in Boston two years ago,” Stuart Appelbaum, president of the JLC stated. “Many of them had worked for decades. They were all replaced with temporary workers, who were paid poverty wages with no benefits.
“We join these hardworking workers as they stand up for decent jobs for themselves and their families, and the right to take a stand with other Hyatt workers against an abusive employer that is destroying good jobs in their North American hotels.” The JLC president concluded, “the people who clean, staff and help make Hyatt Hotels successful are simply seeking protections on the job. Of course we support them, and invite the community-at-large to do so as well.”