National Catholic Reporter

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Hyatt responds to accusations of unfair employee practices

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Editor's note: On July 31, NCR published a commentary from Clete Kiley about Hyatt. The hotel chain has written a response to the opinion piece, which follows.

At Hyatt, the satisfaction and well-being of our associates is fundamental to the success of our business because they are the ones who provide hospitality to our guests. Hyatt provides industry-leading wage and benefits packages, maintains an outstanding workplace safety record and is a recognized leader in promoting a diverse work force. That is why the average tenure of Hyatt housekeepers in the U.S. is more than 12 years, why there are more than 20,000 Hyatt associates throughout the U.S. who have been with the company for more than 10 years, and why Hyatt is consistently distinguished as a great place to work in independent surveys of our associates, including our housekeepers.

The UniteHere campaign is not about creating a better workplace at our hotels, but is an attempt to boost union membership at non-union Hyatt hotels through a non-democratic and intimidating process. To maintain the campaign, UniteHere leaders have refused to allow their members in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Waikiki, Hawaii, vote on proposals containing the same-wage and benefits packages the union accepted at Hilton and Starwood. As a result, our associates in these cities have gone without the pay raises and benefits increases they deserve for almost three years.

While continuing to deny our associates the pay raises and benefits increases they deserve, UniteHere leaders' new call for a boycott of Hyatt will have a direct and negative impact on our associates, who depend on business at our hotels for their livelihoods. If successful, the boycott will hurt our associates, contradicting the union's stated objective of supporting our associates by improving their workplace environment and compensation. While UniteHere leadership is pursuing a strategy that puts its interests ahead of our associates, Hyatt is placing its associates first by standing ready to pay the raises our associates should have gotten, which will be delivered upon completion of new contracts.

Hyatt is committed to paying our associates market-leading wages and benefits and their right to vote. In fact, in a full-page ad in the July 23 edition of the Washington Post, we set the record straight and urged UniteHere leaders do the right thing for their members by allowing them to vote on a new contract that gives them the wage and benefits increases they deserve.

More information about Hyatt's Washington Post ad is available here.

[Doug Patrick is senior vice president of human resources for Hyatt.]

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