WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, NCLR (National Council of La Raza), the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) and the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) joined a global boycott of Hyatt hotels in response to widespread evidence of harmful working conditions for hotel housekeepers, who are predominantly women of color, including Latinas. The groups pledged to not hold any conventions, conferences, special events or major meetings at Hyatt hotels covered by the boycott.
UNITE HERE announced the boycott on July 23, 2012. Since then, the effort to push for the improvement of working conditions and ensure the right of workers to organize has received increasing support from more than 5,000 individuals and organizations, including the AFL-CIO, the NFL Players Association, the National Organization of Women (NOW), Feminist Majority, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Netroots Nation and Interfaith Worker Justice. To date, the boycott has cost the company more than $27 million in business.
“The pattern of exploitation of housekeepers in Hyatt hotels is not only at odds with Hyatt’s commitment to hospitality but also inexcusable. For years, Latina housekeepers and their supporters have asked for the most basic and humane changes in the workplace to help reduce injuries and physical strain. We are joining these courageous workers in calling on Hyatt to stop this pattern of abuse and become an industry leader in respecting workers’ health and safety,” said NCLR President and CEO Janet Murguía.
In a study published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine examining a total of 50 hotel properties from five different hotel companies, Hyatt housekeepers had the highest injury rate of all housekeepers studied when compared by hotel company.
“The too-often unseen and ignored workers who ensure a comfortable stay at hotels like Hyatt deserve respect and scrupulous adherence to their rights under law,” stated Thomas A. Saenz, President and General Counsel of MALDEF. “The global boycott of Hyatt sends a clear statement that consumers expect hotel operators to operate consistently with well-established principles of decency and fairness.”
“We will not stand by and allow anyone to continue to profit on the injured backs of our trabajadoras (women workers). In our research for our Trabajadoras report, data showed that hotel workers are more likely to report injuries on the job if they know they have the right to do so and are associated with organizations that will back them if they are subjected to employer retaliation. We proudly join the thousands of individuals and organizations in supporting the Hyatt trabajadoras through this global Hyatt boycott,” said Hector E. Sanchez, Executive Director for the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement.
NCLR, MALDEF and LCLAA are calling on Hyatt to:
- Improve working conditions and reduce physical strain for housekeepers by complying with the recommendations outlined in a letter sent to Hyatt by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) on April 25, 2012.
- Agree to the workers’ request to remain neutral when nonunion workers try to organize.
- Settle expired collective bargaining agreements with worker representatives on terms comparable to other major hotel chains, such as Marriot, Blackstone/Hilton and Starwood.
For more information regarding the boycott, visit www.hyatthurts.org. For media inquiries, please contact Julian Teixeira, Director of Communications, NCLR, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 776-1812.
NCLR—the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States—works to improve opportunities for Hispanic Americans. For more information on NCLR, please visit www.nclr.org or follow along on Facebook and Twitter.
Click here to read the press release.