For immediate release
June 16, 2010
Hundreds Gather to ‘Shine Light on Hyatt Injustice’
Community leaders mark 2nd Anniversary of struggle for hotel workers at Hyatt Santa Clara
What: Demonstration marking second year of campaign for worker justice at Hyatt Santa Clara
When: Thursday, June 17th – 5:30 p.m.
Where: In front of Hyatt Santa Clara, 5101 Great America Parkway, Santa Clara
Who: 200 hotel workers and community members. Speakers include:
Cleve Jones, an internationally renowned LGBT activist, who has spearheaded a campaign with UNITE HERE to build a coalition between the LGBT community and labor;
Hon. Paul Fong, California Assemblyman;
Tamara Alvarado, former Director of MACLA, Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana
Why: This Thursday will mark the two-year anniversary of the campaign led by hotel workers at the Hyatt Santa Clara to achieve justice on the job and a voice at work. On June 17, 2008, workers first called on Hyatt Santa Clara management to agree to a fair process to choose whether to form a union in an environment free from employer harassment and intimidation. Hyatt has refused to honor their request. Now community leaders are coming together to bring visibility to these workers’ longstanding struggle and send a message to Hyatt that they will not turn a blind eye as the company locks workers into the recession.
At the non-union Hyatt Santa Clara, housekeepers typically clean 16 or more rooms each day–a high workload that for some has led to a struggle with injuries and daily pain. Moreover, Hyatt Santa Clara housekeepers start at under $25,000 per year and must pay up to $300 dollars each month for family healthcare.
By contrast, the Pritzkers–Hyatt’s billionaire majority owners–cashed out $900 million in one day in the sale of a minority share of Hyatt stock in November 2009, and the value of Hyatt shares has skyrocketed since the initial public offering of stock at that time. While workers suffer, Hyatt stands poised for a strong recovery.
In recent months, Hyatt has ignited a national controversy for its treatment of workers in Santa Clara and across North America. Just last week, protests of Hyatt with hundreds of workers and community allies were held last week 5 cities throughout the United States and Canada.
UNITE HERE Local 19 represents 5,000 workers in the hotel, laundry, food service, and casino industries in Northern California. It is a member of Rising Together, an alliance of hotel workers and community organizations.