Hotel Workers Call On Hyatt To End Strike, Agree To New Contracts

Lisa Fielding
October 01, 2018 - 2:39 pm

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Hundreds of Chicago hotel workers rallied Monday at the Hyatt Regency Chicago in hopes of settling a new contract and ending the strike. 

It has been 25 days since hotel workers have been on strike at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place and the Hyatt Regency Chicago.

Since the citywide hotel strike began on Sept. 7, most of the 26 striking hotels have settled contracts with UNITE HERE Local 1. Workers at Hilton, Marriott, and six other hotels reached new agreements and brought the strikes to an end in the past few weeks.

“All hotel workers in the city deserve what we have achieved at Hilton,” said Roushaunda Williams, who has worked at the Palmer House Hilton as a bartender for 18 years. “We walked out on strike to set a new standard in the city. We will continue to support Hyatt workers and other strikers for as long as it takes.”

WBBM Newsradio/Lisa Fielding

The new contracts for those hotels include guaranteed healthcare in the wintertime.

"Now it’s Hyatt’s turn,” said Karen Kent, President of UNITE HERE Local 1.

According to the union, more than 1,000 Hyatt workers remain without a contract. 

WBBM Newsradio/Lisa Fielding

“I work at the largest hotel in the city of Chicago. We deserve to be equal to the rest of the city,” said Demetrius Jackson, who has worked in convention services at the Hyatt Regency Chicago for 11 years. His wife Jackie McCastle-Jackson also works at the hotel in housekeeping. “My wife and I walked out on strike together for a better future for our family. We will be on strike for as long as it takes. We deserve to be treated as equals, and not like second-class citizens.”

Union contracts with UNITE HERE Local 1 expired on August 31, 2018. WBBM Newsradio reached out to Hyatt Properties for a comment.