As members of the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Biblical Literature, we believe that we have a moral responsibility to promote the just and ethical treatment of workers, and to intervene when powerful individuals or institutions seek to undermine their fundamental rights as workers and as human beings. We are concerned that the AAR and SBL are using the Hyatt McCormick and the Hyatt Regency hotels for their 2012 meetings despite the fact that the workers have called for a boycott of these hotels.
Hyatt has singled itself out as the worst employer in the hotel industry. Hyatt has eliminated jobs, replaced career housekeepers with minimum wage temporary workers, and imposed dangerous workloads on those who remain. Hyatt has refused to remain neutral as non-union hotel workers organize. In Chicago, they are unique in their refusal to adopt the fair contract that the other hotels in the city have adopted.
This boycott is one of the many courageous steps, including striking, that workers have taken to end Hyatt’s abuse of housekeepers and exploitation of workers. Hyatt workers are not only fighting to secure decent contracts for themselves but also to secure the right and ability to take on a global corporate giant like Hyatt wherever it threatens to undermine the basic rights and working conditions of its workers.
We urge you to follow the courage of the workers, to hear their call for justice, and to pull AAR and SBL business from the Hyatt hotels in Chicago. We pledge to support the boycott by not staying in, entering or spending money in Hyatt hotels and we ask you to do the same.