Hyatt Hotels Corp. is in trouble in Boston, with labor protests and calls for boycotts from local authorities and individuals in response to Hyatt’s mass firing of 130 housekeepers from the three Hyatt hotels in Boston – the Hyatt Regency Boston, Hyatt Regency Cambridge, and Hyatt Harborside Hotel.
On Aug 31, at the end of the day’s work, Hyatt simply kicked out the housekeeping staff – some of whom had been working for more than 20 years, and replaced them with out-of-state workers from Georgia based Hospitality Staffing Solutions.
As a result, not only are the fired workers fighting for their rights, but they also have support from organized labor (Unite Here – Local 26) in Boston, and local politicians – who have no wish to see local jobs in Boston outsourced to low cost workers from out-of-state. Boston Mayor Thomas Menino said the job cuts “fly in the face of what Boston is all about.”
Some people are offering financial assistance to the workers, while companies are saying they will no longer recommend Hyatt to their out-of-town business partners who need hotels while in Boston.
And the anger and coming together of interests against Hyatt resulted in a massive protest rally outside the Hyatt Regency in Boston, with hundreds of placard waving workers picketing it and telling guests to boycott the hotel.
Hyatt’s biggest mistake was to trick the fired employees into helping train their own replacements – Management told the workers the trainees would be used for filling in spots while employees were on vacation.
And then they put out this press statement – “We are providing the affected associates with assistance, including severance and outplacement counseling. Hyatt is committed to treating our employees with honesty and respect.”
Considering the sheer force of public anger, Hyatt will probably have to backtrack and rehire the fired employees – or provide a sizeable settlement. Not to mention the heavy PR damage caused by the nationwide negative publicity.