For Immediate Release
July 23, 2012
Global Boycott of Hyatt Hotels Announced
NFL Players Association, NOW, LGBT Orgs, AFL-CIO Leaders, and Prominent Musicians Join Housekeepers in Launch and Online Call to Action to 2 Million+ Worldwide
Washington, DC--Today at a National Press Conference in Washington, DC, the NFL Players Association, UNITE HERE, NOW, the AFL-CIO, LGBT groups, workers and renowned musicians are joining forces to support a far-reaching global boycott of Hyatt hotels due to the company's extensive abuse of housekeepers and low wages. In conjunction with the boycott launch, allies will join workers this week in a call to action of more than 2 million online and a full week of protests in 20 US cities, including Los Angeles, Honolulu, San Francisco, Chicago, Baltimore, Indianapolis and Boston. A demonstration will also take place in London, UK.
The global boycott marks the largest escalation to date in an ongoing campaign for basic worker rights. Hyatt has singled itself out as the worst employer in the hotel industry by abusing its housekeepers and other hotel workers, replacing longtime employees with minimum wage temporary workers, and imposing dangerous and health-threatening workloads on those who remain. In a first in the hotel industry, the federal government issued a letter to Hyatt in April 2012, warning the company of hazards their housekeepers face.
Thousands of community supporters are joining Hyatt workers in this call to boycott the hotel company. By choosing to not eat, meet or sleep at Hyatt, they are urging friends, family and the public to send a clear message to Hyatt that its abuse and exploitation of hotel workers will not be tolerated. In response, Hyatt workers have taken bold steps to end mistreatment, speaking publicly about abuses, going on strike, and now joining in a global boycott of Hyatt.
"Hyatt systematically abuses housekeepers and other hotel workers, and it is unacceptable that in 2012 women endure debilitating injuries as a result of the work they do cleaning rooms," says John Wilhelm, the President of UNITE HERE. "We call on Hyatt to end its systematic abuse of housekeepers and adopt the recommendations made by the federal government to reduce the physical strain associated with housekeeping work."
In conjunction with the global boycott launch this week, major organizations and prominent public figures are showing their support by issuing a call to more than 2 million people, encouraging them to go online and "Vote Hyatt the Worst Hotel Employer in America." The global boycott has also been endorsed by the IUF -- the global federation of trade unions -- and virtually every union representing hotel workers worldwide.
People and organizations that spoke out to support the boycott today include the following. There is a separate sheet of statements from many of them that may be reused with attribution.
- Richard Trumka, President, AFL-CIO
- Terry O'Neill, President, National Organization for Women (NOW)
- DeMaurice Smith, Executive Director, National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) Darlene Nipper, Deputy Executive Director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
- Deepak Bhargava, Executive Director, Center for Community Change
- Kim Bobo, Executive Director, Interfaith Worker Justice
- Kim Gandy, Vice President of the Feminist Majority Foundation
- Peggy Shorey, Executive Director, Pride at Work
- Jerame Davis, Executive Director, National Stonewall Democrats
- Cindy Pearson, Executive Director, National Women's Health Network
- Rabbi Barbara Penzner, Chair of the Rabbinic Cabinet of the Jewish Labor Community and Founder of the Justice at Hyatt campaign Hyatt Housekeepers
- Cleve Jones, Founder of the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt
- Tom Morello, musician
- The National Black Justice Coalition
For more information about the boycott and abuses by Hyatt Hotels, visit www.HyattHurts.org, Twitter @hyatthurtsus and Facebook at www.facebook.com/hyatthurts.