Hyatt Boycott Goes Global

Today the hotel workers union UNITE HERE launched a new campaign calling for a global boycott of the hotel chain Hyatt for its abusive and illegal treatment of its workers.

“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 work.”

The boycott has a lot of support from members of communities hurt by Hyatt including faith groups, the NFL Players Association, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Organization for Women.

“The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force has long stood with labor, and we do so again today, this time in support of the hard-working housekeepers who have called for a global boycott of Hyatt in response to the company’s low wages and abuse of workers. We stand here because all people deserve the right to find and keep a job in a safe work environment, with a living wage. We stand here because we are workers too.” said Darlene Nipper, Deputy Executive Director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

The boycott has a lot of support for good reason. According to a study published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine Hyatt housekeepers have higher injury rates than housekeepers at four other chains. At non-union Hyatts, they are forced to clean up to 30 rooms a day, and in 2011 alone, “the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) or its state counterparts issued 18 citations against the Hyatt at 11 hotels and 3 citations against one of the Hyatt’s housekeeping subcontractors at one of those hotels.”

Hyatt workers told their own stories of the stress and difficulty of working at a Hyatt. Claudette Evans says, “Just two weeks ago my co-worker hurt his back at work, putting him on light duty. This means I have to do my work and his because Hyatt does not offer us anymore help. Now, I’m feeling over worked, stressed, and pain.” Hyatt recently introduced heavier beds that are so heavy, according to Angela Martinez, she “can’t lift the mattress because my left arm feels like it’s coming out of the socket. It feels like it is separating.”

Hyatt abuses its workers because they can. Boycotting them lets them know they can’t.

Related Stories:

Hyatt Hotels Told To Clean Up Working Conditions For Housekeepers

Domestic Workers Deserve Employment Protections [Video]

Photo from UggBoy via flickr.

58 comments

Roro l.
Roro l.9 months ago

thanks

Roro l.
Roro l.9 months ago

thanks

Linda H.
Linda h.3 years ago

I'm proud to be part of a union. I also used to clean rooms. I'm glad these people are trying for something better.

Kevin Brown
Kevin Brown3 years ago

Kathlen S.-So your basing this assertation on what exactly? Are you employed by the housekeeping department at Hyatt or just a union-hating blowhard?

Kathleen S.
kat S.3 years ago

Hyatt does not mistreat their workers. Unions suck money out of ignorant people.

A N M.
anne M.3 years ago

Between the UK and the US, they turned this into the most militaristic Olympics ever. For this reason alone, this sorry spectacle should be ignored.

Angel Campbell
Angel Campbell3 years ago

thanks for the article

William and Kat Dresbach
Katie D.3 years ago

It Defintitley is a reason to have Unions! All the Citations and nothing is done??
They probly just pay a fine and go right on doing same thing too! These Jobs are many!
People that do these jobs have to work and need a Job too have to work and bring home a paycheck! At low Wages!!
Even the Restaurant and Retail Jobs are this way too!
You get hurt and you still have to show up for work even light duty!
No sympathy for the injured!

Pamylle G.
Pamylle G.3 years ago

This situation illustrates why unions are needed - and if that's the "plot" behind the boycott, I think it's a good one.

You like your days off, and humane working conditions ? Thank those who fought hard with their union against wage-slave labor. There are those who try to make certain terms derogatory which ought not to be. "Union" is one of those terms Faux News & company is trying to vilify. Sorry, not buying it.

Kevin Brown
Kevin Brown3 years ago

I just heard on NPR today a report that says 80% of the wealth produced in the last 30 years has gone to the richest 2% of the nation. That in itself tells you that something is wrong. The 2% did not produce that wealth they just took it.