Hotel Workers on Strike at Hyatt Regency Chicago

Members of Unite Here Local 1 went on strike today at the 2,019-room Hyatt Regency Chicago, planning to go back to work Tuesday. Workers at the hotel have been without a contract since Aug. 31, 2009. "Hyatt is one of the most abusive hotels in their treatment of housekeepers and has the worst record on subcontracting," Henry Tamarin, president of Local 1, said in a statement. "They refuse to budge on these important issues, and now workers have hit a boiling point." Officials at Hyatt responded, "It is unfortunate that less than a week after a major trade show pulled out of Chicago, citing labor issues and high costs, that Unite Here leadership would take this action. This strike, which negatively impacts our associates in Chicago, is just another tactic in the union's national anti-Hyatt campaign, designed to grow the union's membership and dues in other cities at the expense of the local members they claim to represent." Hyatt added that no service disruptions were expected and comprehensive contingency plans are in place to eliminate any foreseeable interruptions to the hotel's operations. The 2013 Car Care World Expo, put on by the Chicago-based International Carwash Association, pulled out of the city last week, according to Crain's Chicago Business, citing the high labor costs. The trade show will be held in Las Vegas, instead.