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October 27, 2010

CES Helps Organize West Hollywood Community Meeting
to Build Support for Hyatt Hotel Boycott to Win Workers Rights


In an effort to build community awareness and solicit community support, the Coalition for Economic Survival (CES) together with UNITE-HERE Local 11 and Stonewall Young Democrats, held a community meeting in West Hollywood to discuss the recently called boycott of Hyatt Hotels, particularly the Hyatt Andaz West Hollywood on the famed Sunset Strip.

Attendees of West Hollywood meeting listen to ways they can help the Hyatt Hotel Boycott in support of winning economic justice for hotel workers.
UNITE-HERE is escalating its battle with Hyatt Hotels Corp. over wages and health insurance. The union claims the Hyatt chain is pushing for "recession contracts" that would roll back health benefits and freeze wages, while opposing organizing campaigns at nonunion hotels.

Since contracts with the Century Plaza and the Hyatt Andaz West Hollywood hotels – among other Hyatts nationwide – expired in 2009, UNITE-HERE Local 11, which represents Southern California's unionized hotel workers, has been negotiating new terms for the more than 700 workers at both hotels.

The four other L.A.-area Hyatts – in Westlake Village, El Segundo, Valencia and Long Beach – are not unionized. However, Unite Here Local 11 has been trying to organize the Hyatt Regency Long Beach and recently stepped up those efforts with protests and other demonstrations.

Approximately $500,000 in business events has been, or will be diverted, from area Hyatt hotels as a result of the boycott, union organizers say.

CES members participated in a large demonstration in front of the Hyatt Andaz West Hollywood on July 22, 2010, where in an act of peaceful civil disobedience, 63 people were arrested.

UNITE HERE Hyatt Boycott Organizer Kristin Winn is flanked by two Hyatt Workers who talk about their working conditions and efforts to win a new just contract.
CES Executive Director Larry Gross, speaking at the meeting about how and why the City of West Hollywood was created and CES' leadership role in that effort, said, "While the city was built on rent control, it was more importantly founded on principles of economic, social and political justice." He stated that, "For these reasons it was an obligation for the city and its residents to rally in support of hotel workers fighting for justice and actively get involved this campaign."

Hotel workers spoke of Hyatt implementing a "cross-classification" system for its employees. This allows the hotel to cut back on costs by placing one employee in multiple positions at once. Hotel workers are intimidated because they're scared they could get laid off if they don't do the various jobs.

Joining CES members at the meeting were representatives of State Senator Fran Pavley, State Senator Curran Price, the Stonewall Democratic Club, Stonewall Young Democratic, the Los Angeles County Democratic Party, the West Hollywood Russian Advisory Board and KPFK’s Community Advisory Board, as well as West Hollywood City Council Member Lindsey Horvath and Crescent Heights United Methodist Church Pastor Scott Imler.

Click Here to Sign Hotel Boycott Support Pledge.

Find Out Which Hotels Should Be Boycotted at UNITE-HERE's Hotel Guide.


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