Nation’s Top Hispanic Civil Rights Groups Join Global Boycott of Hyatt Hotels
February 26 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Groups join growing list of supporters urging Hyatt to improve substandard working conditions for housekeeping staff
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.
- 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 Marriott, Blackstone/Hilton and Starwood.
MALDEF—Founded in 1968, MALDEF is the nation’s leading Latino legal civil rights organization. Often described as the “law firm of the Latino community,” MALDEF promotes social change through advocacy, communications, community education, and litigation in the areas of education, employment, immigrant rights, and political access. For more information on MALDEF, please visit: www.maldef.org.
For media inquiries, please contact Laura Rodriguez, Principal, MALDEF at email@example.com or (310) 956-2425.
The Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) is a national Latino organization representing the interests of over 2 million Latino(a) trade unionists throughout the United States and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Since its inception in 1973, LCLAA has organized and advocated for the rights of workers seeking justice in the workplace and in their communities. LCLAA is a constituency group representing Latino activists and union members belonging to the AFL-CIO and the Change to Win Federation. Visit us at www.lclaa.org.
For media inquiries, please contact Diana Villa, Communications Manager, LCLAA at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 508-6989.
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.