For immediate release
February 23, 2011
Santa Clara, California–Hotel workers, along with clergy, labor, and community supporters, held a raucous protest this afternoon outside the Hyatt Regency Santa Clara, announcing the launch of a boycott of the property.
The Grand Hyatt is owned and operated by Hyatt Hotels Corporation [NYSE:H] In 2009, it conducted an initial public offering that raised more than $1 billion for its principal owners, the Pritzker family.
"Hyatt doesn’t respect our rights." said Leoncia Rodriguez, a housekeeper who has worked at the Hyatt Regency for seven years. "They won’t commit to letting us organize freely, without intimidation. In the meantime, we are overworked and we get hurt. This is why we are calling a boycott and letting customers know: Don’t eat, meet, or sleep at the Hyatt Regency Santa Clara!"
The boycott launch comes after Hyatt Regency workers have organized for over two years to secure a fair process in their attempt to form a union. Workers have called for customers to honor the boycott at the property by refusing to book rooms, hold events, or spend any money at the Hyatt Regency Santa Clara until a fair process is secured.
Hyatt Regency Santa Clara workers began organizing in 2008 because they face excessive workloads, low wages, lack of respect, and a lack of quality, affordable health care. For example, housekeepers are expected to clean at least 16 rooms in a single 8-hour shift, making up to 32 beds with 96 pillows and 128 sheets. Many housekeepers surveyed at the Hyatt Santa Clara reported daily workplace pain or injury. Further, the average weekly wages of non-unionized hotel and motel workers in Santa Clara County is a mere $538.00.
Hyatt has distinguished itself for its pursuit of profit at any price. In Boston, for example, Hyatt fired all housekeepers at its three non-union hotels, replacing them with outsourced workers paid about half of what the fired workers had earned. The company’s CEO, meanwhile, was paid $6.7 million in compensation in 2008, and its chairman received a bonus of $1.4 million.