For immediate release
April 21, 2011
Rev. Israel Alvaran (San Francisco)
Rev. Rebecca Kuiken (Santa Clara)
During Passover and Holy Week, California clergy gather for Hyatt workers
This week hundreds of religious leaders in the Bay Area, Los Angeles and San Diego will lead processions through the streets and in front of the Hyatt hotels, calling on Hyatt management to do justice by their workers. Special emphasis will be given to workplace injuries and organizing rights for Hyatt workers.
What: During Passover and Holy Week, hundreds of religious leaders, hotel workers and community advocates in San Francisco, Santa Clara, Los Angeles and San Diego will lead processions through the streets and in front of the Hyatt hotels, carrying heavy mattresses to call upon Hyatt management to do justice by their workers. Religious leaders will be delivering Passover symbols to the Hyatt management offering them a choice to continue the bitter suffering of Hyatt hotel workers with the highest workplace injuries (of the top 5 hotel chains in the nation) or provide the wine of freedom with job security and a fair process to form a union & the end to long labor disputes.
Visuals: Clergy in religious garb carrying heavy mattresses and delivering religious symbols of suffering and hope.
Who: Over 100 hotel workers, community supporters and religious leaders, including:
- Imam Suhaib Webb, Muslim American Society
- Rabbi Julie Saxe-Taller, Sherith Israel
- Rabbi Melanie Aron, Shir Hadash
- Bishop Yvette Flunder, City of Hope
- Cantor Meeka Simerly, Temple Emanu-El
- Rev. Debbie Weatherspoon, Los Altos United Methodist
- Rev. James McCray, Tabernacle Development
- Rev. Donna Wood, Park Presidio United Methodist
- Susan Lubeck & Bob Kane, Progressive Jewish Alliance
- Rev. John Freesemann, Holy Redeemer Lutheran
- Rabbi David J. Cooper, Kehilla Community
When: San Francisco: Thursday, April 21, 2011 at 11:15am-12:30 pm AND
Santa Clara: Thursday, April 21, 2011 at noon-1pm.
Where: San Francisco: Program begins at Boeddekker Park (Ellis St. between Taylor and Jones across from Glide) continues to Hilton Union Square (333 O’Farrell St.), ends at Grand Hyatt Union Square (345 Stockton St.) AND Santa Clara: Hyatt Santa Clara Hotel (5101 Great American Parkway)
Why: During this holy period, as we remember and celebrate stories of overcoming oppression and achieving freedoms, religious leaders find echoes of these stories in the lives of hotel workers, who provide comfort for strangers against enormous odds in the workplace, including back-breaking workloads, under-staffing, persecution when they organize and lack of health coverage.
Rabbi Julie Saxe-Taller of Congregation Sherith Israel says "Passover is the time when the Jewish people retell the story of the exodus from slavery: a story of moving from oppression to freedom. This story is a universal story; today we find its echoes in our own lives, as we gather today to share our struggle for just treatment of all workers."
Rabbi David J. Cooper, Kehilla Community Synagogue, "We celebrate Passover not only with our rituals, but with our engagement in social action for justice. We set an example to show how powerful it is when people join together for justice and peace."
Today we find it in the deepening economic divide for all low wage workers–multiplying wealth and luxury for the few, while working families struggle to secure the basic necessities of life. This event is one of compassionate solidarity bringing together the struggle for justice and freedom for all.