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Hyatt swung tide for Spurlock’s new movie

From USA Today | When documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock first began asking big brands such as Nike, Volkswagen and Seven-Eleven to help bankroll “Pom Wonderful Presents The World’s Greatest Movie Ever Sold” — his take on the ubiquity of branded content and the age-old practice of product placement — he had a hard time.

Ban Deodorant eventually signed on, but Spurlock said that higher-profile companies only joined in after Chciago-based Hyatt Hotels Corp. said yes. Hyatt, he said recently at a screening in Washington, was the first “blue chip” brand that he landed, which “made a difference” when they approached other companies. Get the full story>>

Marriott guidance drags down Hyatt, others

Marriott ($35.76, down 5.05 percent) said it has had robust demand internationally, but North American growth has been lower than expected during the first quarter.

The company expects first-quarter worldwide systemwide revenue per available room a key industry metric to increase 7 percent, at the low end of its 7 to 9 percent guidance. Get the full story »

Hyatt: Let employees vote on whether to unionize

Four Hyatt hotels in California and Indiana are petitioning the National Labor Relations Board to allow employees to vote by secret ballot on whether to unionize, a move that goes against the wishes of Unite Here, the hotel workers union.

The union has been pushing for a “card check” vote, in which employees sign cards stating that they wish to be represented by a union. Hyatt has opposed the method, citing concerns that employees could be pressured into pledging support. Get the full story »

Pritzkers selling Triton Container for $1B

Triton Container International Ltd., which is owned by the wealthy Pritzker family, is expected to disclose as early as Thursday its sale to private-equity firms Warburg Pincus LLC and Vestar Capital Partners for about $1 billion, people familiar with the matter said.

Talks are ongoing and details are still being finalized, these people added. Including debt and cash, a sale would value Triton at about $3.5 billion, people familiar with the matter said. Get the full story »

Hyatt swings to profit

Hyatt Hotels Corp. reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit as the recovering economy boosted demand at its international and mid-market properties. The hotel owner and operator on Thursday reported fourth-quarter earnings of $6 million, or 3 cents per share, compared with a year-earlier loss of $12 million, or 7 cents per share. Get the full story »

Hyatt sells 3 suburban hotels for $51M

From Crain’s Chicago Real Estate Daily | Hyatt Hotels Corp. sold three suburban Chicago hotels — the Hyatt Lisle, Hyatt Deerfield and Hyatt Rosemont — for $51 million. The buyer, a joint venture of AREA Property Partners and Aimbridge Hospitality, will continue to operate under the Hyatt flag under long-term franchise agreements. Get the full story>>

Hyatt defends safety record after OSHA complaints

Hyatt Hotels Corp. defended its safety record Tuesday, following an announcement by the hotel workers union that it has filed complaints with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration on behalf of Hyatt housekeepers.

The complaints are being filed on behalf of workers at 12 Hyatt properties, including four in Chicago, citing more than 780 injuries that have been recorded on OSHA logs at those hotels. Unite Here, the union filing the complaints, cited injury rates that are 50 percent higher than the rest of industry.

Robb Webb, chief human resources officer for Chicago-based Hyatt Hotels Corporation called Unite Here’s accusations of a dangerous work environment “false” and aimed at increasing union membership and dues. Get the full story »

Hyatt housekeepers to file OSHA complaints

Hyatt housekeepers in eight cities are expected to file complaints today with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, complaining of injuries they sustained on the job.

The complaints are being filed against the company by workers at 12 Hyatt properties, including four in Chicago, with the backing of Unite Here, the hotel workers union that has launched a campaign against the chain in an effort to lower the number of room housekeepers are expected to clean. Get the full story »

Hyatt profit soars 83% on business travel rebound

The Park Hyatt hotel in downtown Chicago. (E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune)

Hyatt Hotels Corp. posted sharply higher quarterly profit on Wednesday as demand for business travel improved.

The hotel owner and operator, controlled by the Pritzker family in Chicago, posted third-quarter earnings of $30 million, or 17 cents per share, up from $5 million, or 3 cents per share, a year earlier. Get the full story »

Hyatt to add Park Hyatt in New York expansion

Hyatt Hotels Corp. intends to open its first luxury hotel in New York–a 210-room Park Hyatt–in a Midtown condominium tower under development by Extell Development Co. In unveiling plans for the luxury hotel, set to open in 2012, Hyatt has gone from just one hotel in Manhattan–the Grand Hyatt in Midtown–at the start of this year to now having plans for six. Get the full story »

Pritzker’s Triton rumored to be up for sale

Triton Container International Ltd., owned by Chicago’s Pritzker family, is up for sale, the latest attempt at selling the container leasing company that could be worth about $1 billion, several sources familiar with the matter said on Friday.

The auction is the latest in a series of asset sales by the Pritzkers, one of the wealthiest U.S. families. They have been selling assets after a 2001 settlement agreement, in which 11 heirs set a plan to break up the family fortune. Get the full story »

Workers picket Hyatt Regency in Rosemont

Striking workers picket this morning at the Hyatt Regency O'Hare in Rosemont. (Alex Garcia/Tribune)

Chicago Hyatt Hotel employees, working without a contract since this time last year, walked off the job Friday at the Hyatt Regency near O’Hare airport, protesting cuts in wages and health care benefits.

The move is part of a coordinated pre-Labor Day strike strategy organized by the national Unite Here labor union that kicked off Thursday with strikes at Hyatt Hotels Corp. properties in Honolulu and Los Angeles. Workers in Boston, Indianapolis and Toronto, among other cities, will also be engaged in protest activities Friday, the union said.

Unite Here spokesperson Annemarie Strassel said the national union is in multiple contract negotiations with the big three hotel companies — Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Inc., Hilton Worldwide and Hyatt. But it chose to target Hyatt because the Chicago-based chain, which is controlled by the wealthy Pritzker family, has posed “the most regressive proposals.” Get the full story »

Hyatt workers prepare for Friday strike

Hyatt workers in Chicago are preparing to go on strike on Friday over unsuccessful contract negotiations.

The work stoppage, which is planned for an undisclosed Hyatt hotel in the Chicago area, will be the first strike of its magnitude since contracts for 6,000 hotel workers in Chicago expired in August 2009. Unionized hotel workers have staged other protests during the protracted contract negotiations, including brief walkouts at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers and the Hyatt Regency in downtown Chicago. Unite Here, the union representing hospitality workers, has focused on Chicago-based Hyatt Hotels Corp. and the Pritzker family, which controls the chain. Get the full story »

Pritzkers put Hyatt Center on market for $575M

The Pritzker family is putting the Hyatt Center, the curvy 71 S. Wacker Dr. skyscraper on the Chicago River, on the market for more than $575 million, according to Crain’s. Major tenants in the 49-story building include the Pritzker family‚Äôs Hyatt Hotels Corp., Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw LLP and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Get the full story>>

Union, clergy join forces on Hyatt boycott

Hyatt Hotels Corp. faced the wrath of religious leaders Tuesday as hotel workers called for a boycott of three Hyatt branded Chicago hotels.

“I think it is immoral. It’s immoral. It’s immoral for Hyatt to be treating its workers the way they are treating them: A year without a contract,” Rev. Calvin Morris boomed into a microphone outside Hyatt’s downtown headquarters. “We’re going to boycott these hotels, and we do so with good conscience.”

The world’s largest group of Jewish Clergy, the Central Conference of American Rabbis, has pledged its support for the worker-led boycotts, which with the addition Tuesday of Hyatt Regency Chicago, Hyatt O’Hare and Park Hyatt in Chicago, now number 10 at Hyatt properties across the country. Approximately 250 rabbis, cantors and other Jewish leaders have also signed a pledge in support of the boycotts. Get the full story »