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Fired Hyatt housekeepers vote to reject hotel chain’s job offer (Click Here)

September 28, 2009

By Katie Johnston Chase, Globe Staff

Seventy-seven of the 98 fired Hyatt housekeepers met for two hours today at the Unite Here Local 26 union office and came to the unanimous decision that they would not accept the Hyatt Hotel Corp.‘s offer to place them in jobs with a staffing organization.

“No way Hyatt,” the housekeepers chanted at a press conference across the streets from the Hyatt Regency Boston.

“We want our jobs back, nothing else,” said Lucine Williams, who worked at that downtown Hyatt for nearly 22 years. “We will not accept temp positions that are designed to put others out of work.”

Union president Janice Loux declared an official boycott against the Hyatt, promising to aggressively go after Hyatt’s customers and ask them not to do business with the hotel company. The housekeepers did not belong to the union, which represents local hotel workers.

Responding to public pressure over the firings, on Friday Hyatt offered the housekeepers fired at the three Boston-area Hyatts full-time positions with United Service Companies, a Chicago-based staffing organization that the hotel uses for contract labor at hospitals, hotels, and shopping centers. If they accept one of these jobs, the housekeepers will be guaranteed their Hyatt rate of pay through the end of next year and their Hyatt health care benefits through the end of March. Those who don’t take the jobs will be offered career assistance and receive their Hyatt wages through the end of March or until they find a permanent job.

The Hyatt’s Aug. 31 move to fire the Boston housekeepers, who made about $15 an hour, and replace them with subcontracted workers who make about half as much, sparked an uproar, prompting businesses to cancel conventions and Governor Deval Patrick to threaten a state boycott of the hotel chain if the housekeepers’ jobs weren’t restored. As of late Monday afternoon, Patrick had not yet called off the planned boycott.

Posted by Admin on 09/29 at 12:19 PM