For immediate release
July 15, 2010
Annemarie Strassel, UNITE HERE Hotel Workers Rising
(312) 617-0495, [email protected]
Hyatt faces protests in 15 cities across North America
Facing layoffs and cutbacks, thousands protest how Hyatt and its billionaire owners are taking unfair advantage of tough times
Nearly 1000 take arrest in non-violent civil disobedience
WHAT: Demonstration and civil disobedience, protesting Hyatt and its billionaire owners—the Pritzkers. Nearly 1000 workers across North America are prepared to take part in non-violent civil disobedience actions with thousands of witnesses as part of a 15-city coordinated day of action.
WHO: Thousands of UNITE HERE members working in hotels—cooks, bellman, dishwashers, and housekeepers, among others—and allies.
WHERE: Participating cities: Chicago, Honolulu, San Francisco, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Rosemont, Boston, Vancouver, Toronto, Miami, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, San Antonio, Santa Clara and San Diego.
WHEN: Thursday, July 22, 2010
WHY: The rich take unfair advantage of everything . . . even a recession. Hotel workers across North America have endured staff cuts, reduced hours, and excessive injury rates. Hyatt wants to take more away and lock workers into recession contracts even as the economy rebounds.
Now, on July 22nd, thousands of hotel workers in 15 cities across North America are standing up to people like the Pritzkers who run Hyatt, one of the wealthiest and most politically influential families in America.
People like the Pritzkers who run Hyatt are taking unfair advantage: While many hotel workers live in poverty, the Pritzker family cashed out over $900 million in their sale of Hyatt shares in November 2009, and Hyatt share values climbed 65% within the first 6 months of the sale. In one stark example, Hyatt fired its entire housekeeping staff from its three Boston-area hotels and replaced them with workers from a subcontracting agency earning minimum wage.
In 2010, citywide hotel contracts covering 45,000 unionized hotel workers in ten cities across the U.S. and Canada will expire and be subject to bargaining.
VISUALS: Workers in uniform taking arrest. Anti-Hyatt and other protest signs.