July 2012, Week 4


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Portside Labor <[log in to unmask]>
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Tue, 24 Jul 2012 20:14:40 -0400
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Global Boycott of Hyatt Launched Jul 23rd, 2012

AFL-CIO, NFL Players Association, NOW, Netroots Nation,
LGBT organizations & more join housekeepers for launch



On Monday, July 23rd, 2012,  Hyatt workers and allies
formally launched the global boycott of Hyatt. Leaders
from the NFL Players Association, the National
Organization of Women (NOW), the National Gay and
Lesbian Task Force, Netroots Nation, Interfaith Worker
Justice, and more are joining Hyatt housekeepers at a
press conference in Washington, D.C. to make a formal
announcement about the boycott launch. The launch of
the global boycott marks the largest escalation to date
in an ongoing campaign for basic worker rights.

Hyatt has singled itself out as the worst hotel
employer in America. Hyatt has abused housekeepers and
other hotel workers, replacing longtime employees with
minimum wage temporary workers and imposing dangerous
workloads on those who remain. In response, Hyatt
workers have taken bold steps to end mistreatment,
speaking publicly about abuses, going on strike, and
now, launching a global boycott of Hyatt.

"Hyatt systematically abuses housekeepers and other
hotel workers, and it is unacceptable in 2012 that
women endure debilitating injuries as a result of the
work they do cleaning rooms," said John Wilhelm, the
President of UNITE HERE. "We call on Hyatt to end its
systematic abuse of housekeepers and adopt the
recommendations made by the federal government to
reduce the physical strain associated with housekeeping

The launch will be accompanied by a full week of
demonstrations at Hyatt Hotels and other actions in 20
U.S. cities, including Los Angeles, Honolulu, San
Francisco, Chicago, Baltimore, Indianapolis and Boston.

Participants in the July 23, 2012 press conference
launching the global boycott include:

* Hyatt hotel housekeepers and other workers nationwide
* Richard Trumka, President, AFL-CIO 
* Terry O'Neill,President, National Organization for Women (NOW) 
* DeMaurice Smith, Executive Director, National Football
League Players Association (NFLPA) 
* Darlene Nipper, Deputy Executive Director, National Gay and Lesbian
Task Force 
* Deepak Bhargava, Executive Director,
Center for Community Change 
* Kim Bobo, Executive Director, Interfaith Worker Justice 
* Nolan Treadway, Political Director of Netroots Nation 
* Alice Cohan, Political Director of the Feminist Majority Foundation
* Peggy Shorey, Executive Director, Pride at Work 
* MarQuis Fair, National Black Justice Center 
* Jerame Davis, Executive Director, National Stonewall Democrats
* Cindy Pearson, Executive Director, National Women's
Health Network 
* Cleve Jones, Founder of the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt; and founder of Sleep with
the Right People--a coalitional project between UNITE
HERE and the LGBT community 
* Rabbi Barbara Penzner, Chair of the Rabbinic Cabinet of the Jewish Labor
Committee and Founder of the Justice at Hyatt campaign
* Catholic leaders from Network (The National Catholic
Social Justice Lobby), Faith in Public Life, Labor
Priests, the Franciscan Action Network, and Catholic
Scholars for Worker Justice 
* Hyatt Housekeepers from hotels nationwide

Millions Called to Action: Vote Hyatt Worst

In conjunction with the Washington, D.C. launch event,
Hyatt workers and community supporters will be engaging
in a week of action in 20 U.S. cities throughout the
week. The week also marks the launch of a major social
media program to "Vote Hyatt the Worst Hotel Employer
in America." As such, allies like MoveOn.org, Tom
Morello, Netroots Nation, American Rights at Work, the
Courage Campaign, the United Farmworkers Union, Making
Change at Walmart, the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs,
among others are joining Hyatt workers this week in
calling on over two million people online to "Vote
Hyatt Worst" to send a message to Hyatt that its abuse
and exploitation of hotel workers will not be

Global Support

The global Hyatt boycott has been endorsed virtually
every union representing hotel workers worldwide.
Additionally, over 5,000 individuals and organizations
have pledged to honor boycotts called by Hyatt workers.

Global IUF Endorsement. The IUF is a global union
federation including hotel and food service workers'
unions. It represents over 12 million workers in 120
countries. Delegates to a recent congress unanimously
voted their support of the global Hyatt boycott in May.
The IUF noted that "Hyatt's business model relies upon
the abuse and exploitation of women housekeepers and
immigrants," and that "IUF supports Hyatt workers in
their struggle for dignity and justice."

Protests across India. Hundreds of hotel workers in
India have staged demonstrations outside of Hyatt
hotels in Delhi, Goa, and Chennai in support of the
global Hyatt boycott. Hotel workers are also fighting
against subcontracting in the hospitality industry in
India, where Hyatt has 56 hotels in development.
Additionally, the  Indian National Trade Union Congress
(INTUC) has formally endorsed the global Hyatt boycott
on behalf of the represents 10 million workers in India
this union represent.

London calling. The United Kingdom's largest union,
Unite, pledged to support the Hyatt boycott on behalf
of its 1.6 million members. Members of Unite held a
solidarity rally outside of the Hyatt Andaz at
Liverpool Street in London, Another union, the GMB,
featured the Hyatt boycott during the Global Pride
parade in London July 7, and is planning further
actions during the week of the global boycott launch.

Standing against subcontracting in Israel. Freddi
Cohen, Chairman of one of the member unions of Israel's
Histadrut labor federation, wrote a glowing letter of
support for the struggle of North American Hyatt
workers. He condemned Hyatt's known abuses of
subcontracted labor, and explained that the
subcontracting of labor in hotels and many other
sectors is now illegal in Israel following a powerful
nation-wide general strike in February.

Solidarity in Manila. In the Philippines, several
groups held a solidarity action in support of Hyatt
workers. The IUF-affiliated NUWHRAIN, the hotel workers
union in the Philippines, joined with the Alliance for
Progressive Labor (APL) and Sentro ng mga Progresibong
Manggagawa (Sentro) to send a strong message outside
the Hyatt Hotel and Casino Manila. In a press statement
by NUWHRAIN, workers expressed their "solidarity with
the workers of Hyatt in the United States and elsewhere
in the world who have suffered and continued to suffer
from many forms of exploitation and abuses perpetrated
by the hotel brands under the Hyatt Corporation."

Global petition. Nearly 100,000 members of SumOfUs.org
in Australia, the United Kingdom and North America
signed a petition calling on the Hyatt Regency Santa
Clara to reinstate Martha and Lorena Reyes, who were
fired after an objection to the posting of demeaning
pictures of housekeepers in bikinis on a bulletin board
at work.

The call to "Boycott Hyatt" does not include the Hyatt
Regency Maui Resort & Spa and the Grand Hyatt Kauai,
which have current collective bargaining agreements
with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union,
and does not include the following Hyatt hotels with
current UNITE HERE collective bargaining agreements:
Grand Hyatt New York, Andaz 5th Avenue, Andaz Wall
Street, Hyatt Hotel (Highway One Monterey), Hyatt
Regency Monterey, Hyatt Penn's Landing (Philadelphia),
Hyatt Regency Atlanta, Hyatt Regency Dearborn
(Michigan), Hyatt Regency Denver at the Colorado
Convention Center, Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa and
Marina, Hyatt Regency on King (Toronto), Park Hyatt
Toronto, Hyatt Regency Vancouver, Hyatt Regency
Washington on Capitol Hill, Hyatt Rosemont, Hyatt Place
San Jose, and Hyatt Place Braintree (MA).


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