- Chicago Newstips by Community Media Workshop - http://www.newstips.org -

Hyatt workers want a seat at the table

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Hyatt housekeepers say they have a solution to the corporation’s reputation for labor abuses — add a worker to the board of directors.

(Meanwhile Chicago parents say that the departure of Hyatt board member Penny Pritzker from the school board here opens an opportunity for community input in selecting her replacement; more here [2].)

Hundreds of hotel workers will meet Wednesday, March 20 at 5 p.m. at the Chicago Temple, 77 W. Washington, to nominate Cathy Youngblood, a Hyatt housekeeper from Los Angeles, to a seat on the corporation’s board.

They’ll be joined by supporters including elected officials and labor, community, and faith leaders.

Hyatt workers in Chicago have been working without a contract since 2009, with Hyatt refusing to follow other hotels here in negotiating over subcontracting and workloads, said Carly Karmel of UNITE-HERE Local 1 [3].

Last year a global boycott [4] of Hyatt was declared by a coalition including the AFL-CIO and NOW, citing the chain’s practice of subcontracting out work at minimum wage, as well as heavy workloads and injury rates as much as twice those of other hotels.