President and CEO
Hyatt Hotels Corporation
71 South Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60606
Dear Mr. Hoplamazian:
Thank you for speaking with me again yesterday and for your letter of yesterday afternoon. I appreciate the thoughtful tone of both, and your efforts to extend further benefits to the displaced workers.
However, as I said when we spoke, I am disappointed by your company’s unwillingness to reconsider the decision to replace the housekeeping staff with an “outsourced” firm, and give the jobs back to the people who were displaced. You tell me that there are sound financial reasons for the company’s decision, and I accept that. But the manner in which these workers were discharged is so inconsistent with both the expressed values of the Hyatt organization and basic fairness, that I do not believe any other remedy than full reinstatement is adequate.
You indicated that some of the facts reported on the methods and circumstances of the discharge were not correct. Because I appreciate that there are two sides to every story, I have spoken to a couple of affected workers personally, and will meet with a group of them later this week to take my own measure of their stories. So far, I am no less troubled than I was upon reading early media accounts.
We want to work with you. We value the presence of Hyatt in Boston and the Commonwealth, and will work with you to smoothly transition these workers, if there is no other choice. But you must understand that what has been imposed on these workers — most of whom have worked hard, played by the rules, and invested their time and energy in your company’s success — is both upsetting in its own right, and also the worst nightmare of every worker in today’s weak economy.
I understand first hand how difficult it is to manage through the current economic challenges without compounding the disruptions the times have caused. In this economy, no business (or government, for that matter) is immune from these kinds of choices. But surely there is some way to retain the jobs for your housekeeping staff, as other hotels in the area have done, and to work with them to help the company meet its current challenges, rather than tossing them out unceremoniously to fend for themselves while the people they trained take their jobs at barely livable wages.
Again, I ask Hyatt to reconsider the decision to replace these workers. Barring that, I will direct all state employees not to use Hyatt when traveling or for other purposes for the foreseeable future. This is not how I like to operate. But the treatment of these workers appears to be so substandard that it leaves me no choice.
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