By PAUL LAVERACK
Housekeepers and their allies at the luxurious Hyatt Andaz hotel in West Hollywood, CA take part in a week-long strike, in four cities throughout the US, from September 8-15, 2011. Elected officials from the local, state, and national levels march alongside the workers, as the labor action stretches down the block and around the clock.
The housekeepers and their union, Unite Here Local 11, complain that Hyatt workers have the highest injury rate of all the major hotel chains, due to the company pressing workers to complete inhuman workloads, and management’s unwillingness to use fitted sheets, which would cut down on repetitive motion injuries.
Management claims they have been willing to settle the two-year-old contract dispute and offer workers a raise, but the union is distracting workers over issues that have nothing to do with wages and benefits. Unite Here Communications Director Leigh Shelton concedes that the issue is not about wages and benefits. She adds, however, that “Hyatt is attacking workers all over North America, and workers want the right to picket, strike, or boycott in support of suffering workers at other Hyatt hotels.”
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