My three local Hyatt hotels laid off every housekeeper on August 31st. Citing tough economics, Hyatt said it was financially necessary to lay off the workers and replace them with temporary employees who will be paid half as much and will be offered no benefits.
I’m a capitalist. And I understand the necessity of lowering operating costs, even when it means layoffs.
But Hyatt in this case deserves a boycott because they lied to their workers. Hyatt told its workers it would be bringing in temporary staff to help cover shifts holidays and vacations. Hyatt had its $15/hr workers train these new $8/hr workers—and when the training was done, Hyatt fired the old housekeeping staff.
So I ask my family, most of whom are business people or travel for work, to insist that their companies not patronize Hyatt. Because it’s one thing to cut costs; it’s something else—it’s sadism—to lie to their employees, fire them with no warning, and help create hundreds of uninsured, both the temps and the newly unemployed:
Williams, a single mother of a 13-year-old with asthma, stocked up on medication before her insurance runs out at the end of the month. Last week, the former Hyatt Regency Boston housekeeper also had to cancel an airline ticket she’d bought the day before she was laid off to go see her father in Barbados. She hasn’t seen him since 2005, and isn’t sure when she’ll see him again.