Friday, February 22, 2013

Boycott Anti Gay Hyatt Hotels

I first hear about this from gay labor activist Cleve Jones. After learning about the worker-called global boycott of Hyatt Hotels, Funders for LGBTQ Issues a national network of foundations & corporate funders that support LGBT communities decided to move its annual retreat from a New Mexico Hyatt to another location. In response to the move Hyatt demanded a $40,600 cancellation fee – a substantial percentage of the LGBT nonprofit’s operating budget & more than what Hyatt would have charged if the retreat had actually been held there. Ben Francisco Maulbeck, President of Funders for LGBTQ Issues stated, “The moment we heard about the boycott, we felt we had to move the retreat. There’s such a strong history of solidarity between the movements for workers’ rights & LGBT rights – dating back to Harvey Milk’s early organizing work in San Francisco. We just couldn’t imagine having our retreat, talking about issues of equality & social change for LGBT communities, in a space that we knew was under boycott by workers.” Hyatt workers called for the boycott in response to the hotel employer’s poor treatment of workers, particularly housekeepers. In 2009, the managers of three Hyatts in the Boston area fired the entire housekeeping staff after asking the workers to train their replacements from an outsourcing agency, paying the new workers close to minimum wage & with no benefits. In July 2012, the global boycott was endorsed by leaders of progressive organizations nationwide including: the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF), Pride at Work, the National Black Justice Coalition, the National Organization of Women (NOW), the Center for Community Change & many others. Sign Petition…

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