Monday, June 10, 2013

Workers To Protest Hyatt Shareholders Meeting For Longstanding Labor Abuses

Housekeeper Running for Hyatt Board also to attend Meeting Held at McDonalds' Oak Brook Campus
View the petition calling on Hyatt to amend its labor practices and add a worker to the board at

 Chicago, IL-- On Monday June 10, hotel workers will protest the Hyatt Corporation's annual shareholders meeting taking place at McDonalds Corporation's Oak Brook campus. Hyatt workers have been calling on the prominent hotel chain to reform longstanding labor abuses and to add a hotel worker to the board of directors to provide front-line employee leadership and help reform labor practices from the top.

Cathy Youngblood, a housekeeper at the Hyatt Andaz in West Hollywood, has been running to be added to the Hyatt board with the support of the UNITE HERE union through a campaign called "Someone Like Me." She has been crisscrossing the country since 2012, speaking to workers and community leaders about the need for strong worker board representation to help correct years of abuses at Hyatt and to make it a better hotel for the people who work there, the families who stay there, and the shareholders who have seen the formidable chain decline in revenue and value recently. 

"There's a huge movement of, by and for low wage workers across the globe," says Youngblood. "I and thousands of workers are demanding to be included on corporate boards, like Hyatt and Wal-Mart and McDonalds and others that employ millions of Americans in the lowest low-wage work, and understand that we are the ones that keep the guests and customers coming back. Too often, the odds are stacked against anyone who challenges corporate hierarchy, even though these challenges aim to benefit all--to improve the business, the lives of workers, and service to consumers. Far too many workers are suspended or terminated just for suggesting a better, more efficient, and safer way of completing their daily tasks. Many decisions affecting how a business is run are made among corporate boards and their financial managers. Changes affecting the workforce are implemented without asking what their workers think.  This is the precise reason why American workers have begun to fight back; they are determined to change their working conditions and understand real change will only come when their voices are heard in the boardroom as well as in the workplace."

Workers are protesting Hyatt and supporting Cathy's campaign to be added to the board because the chain has singled itself out as the worst employer in the hotel industry by abusing its housekeepers, replacing longtime employees with minimum wage temporary workers, and imposing health-threatening workloads on those who remain. In a first in the hotel industry, the federal government issued a letter to Hyatt last year, warning the company of hazards their housekeepers face. Workers say that adding someone with recent guest experience to the Board could reshape Hyatt's staffing policies and improve Hyatt's image.

To view Cathy Youngblood's video about her campaign to be added to the Hyatt Board:


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