The following is a guest post by Julia Wong of UNITE HERE Local 2.
Have you ever stayed in a Hyatt hotel? Did you enjoy the fresh sheets and fluffed pillows? If so, there’s a good chance that you have a woman who was born in another country to thank.
Behind the luxurious exterior, an army of immigrant women from Mexico, China, Puerto Rico, and beyond work hard to create the aura of hospitality travelers enjoy away from home. But at Hyatt Hotels, the conditions for immigrant workers are anything but hospitable.
That’s why this week Hyatt housekeepers are launching a global boycott of Hyatt. Please take two seconds to support them by voting Hyatt the Worst Hotel Employer in America.
Why is Hyatt the worst? Hyatt’s aggressive use of subcontracting allows it to pay housekeepers poverty wages while evading legal liability for unsafe working conditions. Subcontracting frequently leads to the exploitation of undocumented immigrants. Hyatt housekeepers have heavy workloads that can lead to debilitating pain and injuries. Hyatt posted E-verify posters at a non-union Hyatt property, causing concern among long-term immigrant workers. Hyatt has even fired immigrant women shortly after they have spoken out about abuse and indignities at work.
The Hyatt Corporation is global and so are we. While housekeepers from India and the Philippines struggle to clean up to 30 rooms a day in US Hyatts, supporters from around the world have taken action against Hyatt’s abuses.
Global Support: Delegates to the IUF, a global union federation that represents 12 million workers in 120 countries, voted unanimously in support of the global Hyatt boycott this 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.” The global boycott of Hyatt has been endorsed by virtually every union representing hotel workers worldwide.
Protests in India: Hundreds of hotel workers in India have staged demonstrations outside 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.
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 the Hyatt Andaz at Liverpool Street in London. Another union, the GMB, is planning further actions during the week of the global boycott launch.
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.”
Worldwide, Hyatt housekeepers are calling on over two-and-a-half million people to take a stand and Vote Hyatt Worst. By joining together, we will urge Hyatt to change its ways.
1) Take a few seconds to support Hyatt housekeepers by voting Hyatt the Worst Hotel Employer in America.
2) Copy/paste this message to your Facebook Wall:
Hyatt housekeepers are getting hurt at work. Some need surgery or have become permanently disabled. That’s why I stand with them as they launch a global Hyatt boycott today. I’m encouraging all my friends (fans/supporters) to take two seconds and vote Hyatt the Worst Hotel Employer in America. Vote Hyatt Worst: http://ow.ly/ciecC
3) Spread the word about this by clicking the “Share” and/or “Retweet” buttons on the top right of this post
Posted on: July 24, 2012