(Repeats to additional subscribers)
CHICAGO, Sept 8 Workers at six Hyatt Hotels
(H.N) launched a weeklong strike on Thursday demanding improved
working conditions and job security, although the company said
the hotels were operating normally.
The strike by some 3,000 housekeepers, bellhops and other
staff who are members of the UniteHere union targeted two Hyatt
hotels in Chicago and properties in San Francisco, Honolulu and
Los Angeles, union spokeswoman Annmarie Strassel said.
Negotiators have agreed with Hyatt on wages and benefits,
but not on union demands to reduce workloads, end
subcontracting, and expand the right to support workers at
other properties, Strassel said. The previous contract expired
in August 2009.
Hyatt spokesman Farley Kern the hotels were operating
normally and many workers have indicated to the company they
are ready to settle. He said the union's action was part of a
drive to expand its organizing effort to nonunion hotels.
"Many of our associates have told us today that they are
supporting our efforts to reach a settlement," Kern said in a
statement, urging the union to resolve differences at the
"We wish that the union leaders had settled these
contracts, so our associates could have been spared a work
stoppage that has nothing to do with their wages and benefits.
We are anxious to award increases to our hard working
employees," he said.
UniteHere previously signed contracts with Hilton and
Starwood HOT.N hotels in Chicago.
Strassel said Hyatt had adopted a harder line than the
other hoteliers and had previously engaged in subcontracting
where minimum-wage workers replaced long-time staff.
(Reporting by Andrew Stern)