Chicago Hyatt workers authorize strike

By Julie Wernau
Posted July 29, 2010 at 8:29 p.m.

In the wake of still-unsettled labor disputes, union workers from Chicago-area Hyatt hotels voted Thursday to authorize a strike.

The vote does not mean workers will strike. It authorizes the union’s negotiating committee to call a strike if it is deemed necessary. This was the second such vote since negotiations began. In October, Chicago hotel workers voted to authorize a strike at five downtown Starwood hotels. So far, they have not called for a strike.

Union contracts covering 6,000 workers at 31 hotels in downtown Chicago expired Aug. 31, and the two sides have been unable to reach a settlement, according to Unite Here Local 1.

On Thursday, members of Unite Here Local 1 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, Park Hyatt, Hyatt McCormick Place and Hyatt O’Hare voted by a 92 percent majority to authorize a strike if necessary.

While the contracts affect workers at several hotel chains, Unite Here has focused its efforts on Chicago-based Hyatt and the Pritzker family, which controls the chain, holding them up as an example of management that it claims is using the economy as an excuse to take advantage of workers.

Hyatt has said that negotiations are best left for the negotiating table.

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  1. joe July 30, 2010 at 9:33 a.m.

    With all the people out of work why can’t they just let them strike, fire them, and hire replacements. You could train anybody off the street to do that work.

  2. oldhand40 July 30, 2010 at 9:40 a.m.

    agree with Joe….get it on ,hire new workers.

  3. Maruti Seth July 30, 2010 at 11:10 a.m.

    I hope Hyatt stands up to the UNION.
    If any worker at any job does not like what he/she being paid than LEAVE.

    When an employee gets a better offer they leave than why can’t an employer layoff when they find a cheaper person to take your job.

  4. Tom L July 30, 2010 at 11:31 a.m.

    The labor laws are completely one-sided because politicians like Obama and Daley kiss their behinds. Everyone is replaceable…period. If the union members can find better paying jobs more power to them. As far as I am concerned the next round of negotiations should include a economics 101 class for all union members. They need to learn about supply and demand.

    Unions are killing this country, FIRE THEM!

  5. john July 30, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    agree with joe – go ahead and strike – I will gladly cross the line and take your job since you don’t really want it…….

  6. bystander July 30, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    Go ahead and strike….the Union has very limited resources in the strike fund (big surprise there). I am so sick of hearing the comments about oppression, slavery, etc… If you don’t like it, find a job elsewhere. Mr Obama is so busy cultivating the entitlement socialist mentality where everyone “deserves” more than what they work for though, ala Chavez. The welfare state in this country is only going to get worse, folks. Fasten your seatbelts and keep a hand on your wallet.

  7. john July 30, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    dear Hyatt management – I’m not kidding – hire me and let your current disgruntled workers go – then you don’t have to worry about the “vote to strike”