Thursday, September 08, 2011

Week long strike at Obama crony's Hyatt Hotels; union calls them "the worst employer in the hotel industry"

I was at a picnic on Chicago's Lakefront on Sunday. I talked at great length with a friend who has been a waiter at the Hyatt Regency Chicago for 17 years. "Sam" seemed tense about his situation there. Now I know why. His hotel and Hyatts in three other cities are on a week long strike--it began this morning. Sam was surprised when I told him that Penny Pritzker, who sits on the board of Hyatt Hotels, was President Obama's campaign finance chair and also served on the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board.

UNITE HERE, which represents the striking employees, says the workers have been without a contract for two years. It calls Hyatt "the worst employer in the hotel industry."

As far as I can gather, the collective barganing rights of Hyatt employees are not at stake. But if they are, here is what then-Sen. Obama said in 2007:

And understand this: If American workers are being denied their right to organize and collectively bargain when I'm in the White House, I'll put on a comfortable pair of shoes myself, I'll walk on that picket line with you as President of the United States of America. Because workers deserve to know that somebody is standing in their corner.
But Senator Obama did walk the picket line at Chicago's Congress Hotel. Disclosure--I used to work there.

UNITE HERE filed a grievance with the National Labor Relations Board against Pritzker's Park Hyatt Chicago after turning on the heat lamps at the front door of the property on a hot day during a one day strike--broiling the picketers. Nice people, those Hyatt folks.

It's a cool 70 degrees in Chicago this afternoon, and as far as I can tell the heat lamps have not been turned on at any of the Hyatts coping with strikes.

Related posts:

Union film spanks Obama pal Penny Pritzker

Obama crony alert: No media at Hyatt Hotels Corp. annual meeting

Another subprime headache for Obama

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