Jul. 31, 2012;By Clete Kiley
Every day, guests check into Hyatt hotels, unaware that the multibillion-dollar company has a shameful record of exploiting low-wage workers and firing employees. A largely immigrant work force that scrubs toilets, lifts heavy mattresses and toils in the shadows has few resources to fight a powerful corporation with deep pockets. But some heavy-hitters, including the NFL Players Association, are now standing together with these workers as part of an international boycott of Hyatt that is taking place in Chicago and 19 other U.S. cities.
As a Catholic priest in the Archdiocese of Chicago, I’m proud to be a part of this effort to speak up for human dignity and basic fairness. For centuries, the Catholic church and leaders of diverse faith traditions have advocated for workers’ rights, called for living wages and defended the vital role of unions. The Chicago-based Interfaith Worker Justice and other religious organizations across the country are empowering workers and holding corporations like Hyatt accountable for abuses that fundamentally betray our nation’s core values and highest ideals. A coalition of rabbis has even declared Hyatt hotels to be not kosher because of unsafe working conditions and poverty wages for employees. Read more