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The Mechanics
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Labor & Worker Rights Wed May 26 2010

Hyatt-Regency Workers Walk Off Job

Rode my bike past this this morning:

(Crain's) -- Hundreds of workers at the Hyatt Regency Chicago walked off the job Wednesday morning as union officials charged that hotel management has refused to change work rules governing housekeepers.

"Housekeepers are just fed up," said Annemarie Strassel, a spokeswoman for Unite Here Local 1, which represents 700 workers at the hotel at 111 E. Wacker Drive. Downtown hotel workers have been working without a labor contract for nearly 10 months, but the work stoppage Wednesday was triggered by issues specific to the 2,019-room Hyatt, the city's largest hotel, Ms. Strassel says. Negotiators for Local 1 and Chicago-based Hyatt Hotels Corp. sat down at the bargaining table a couple of weeks ago after a several-month hiatus.

The primary gripe at the Hyatt Regency is that hotel management has installed heavier beds in the hotel's west tower and won't change work rules to lighten the load, says Tiffany Pullum, a housekeeper who has worked there about six years.

Hyatt is owned by the politically-connected Pritzker family. Penny Pritzker was President Obama's finance chair. A quick look at the Pritzkers' recent political giving after the fold.

UPDATE: Progress Illinois has a write-up and video of the event:


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