Hyatt bullies LGBTQ organization for backing boycott
February 20, 2013
The LGBTQ community is not one to shy away from standing up against abuse and mistreatment. That’s why when LGBTQ organization the Funders for LGBTQ Issues learned about Hyatt’s record of mistreating its workers they immediately decided to move their annual retreat from a Hyatt in New Mexico. Hyatt retaliated by charging Funders for LGBTQ Issues with a $40,000 penalty – far more than the original cost of the retreat.
“As a Hyatt worker and a gay man, I am grateful for the stand Funders for LGBTQ Issues is taking. They are merely honoring the boycott my co-workers and I have called against Hyatt,” said Johnnie Rangel, server at the Grand Hyatt in San Francisco for six years.
Hyatt is one of the biggest corporate bullies around, so this kind of behavior is nothing new. In Baltimore, the NLRB General Counsel issued a formal retaliation complaint against Hyatt after workers were fired for speaking out. But, now, Hyatt is targeting consumers.
“I’m very disappointed that Hyatt would punish an organization dedicated to supporting my rights as an LGBT person simply for standing in solidarity with us. To me, the struggle for our rights as LGBT people and the struggle for our rights as workers is one and the same,” added Rangel.
“The moment we heard about the boycott, we felt we had to move the retreat,” said Ben Francisco Maulbeck, President of Funders for LGBTQ Issues. “There’s such a strong history of solidarity between the movements for workers’ rights and LGBT rights – dating back to Harvey Milk’s early organizing work in San Francisco. We just couldn’t imagine having our retreat, talking about issues of equality and social change for LGBT communities, in a space that we knew was under boycott by workers.”
Click here to tell Hyatt to stop intimidating customers who want to honor the Hyatt boycott.
Hyatt has singled itself out as the worst hotel employer in the hotel industry by abusing housekeepers, replacing longtime employees with minimum wage temporary workers, and imposing health-threatening workloads on those who remain. In July 2012, leaders of progressive organizations nationwide such as the National Gay and Lesbian Taskforce stood with Hyatt workers in support of their boycott.