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Hyatt Hotels In Boston Outsource Housekeeping Staff For Much Lower-Paid Replacements—Governor Threatens Boycott

Hyatt Hotels in Boston have fired longstanding housekeeping employees and replaced them with outsourced and lower paid staff.

( Above–Boston is a great place to visit. But please do not stay at a Hyatt in Boston until they do right by the people who have worked hard for the company.)

From a September 18th post in the USA Today blog Hotel Check-In— 

It all started on Aug. 31 after the morning shift, when Hyatt Hotels’ corporate headquarters laid off the entire housekeeping staffs at the Hyatt Regency Boston, Hyatt Regency Cambridge and Hyatt Harborside Hotel, according to the Globe. Citing the tough economy, the existing housekeepers – some of whom at worked at the hotels for years – were fired. Hyatt then hired new workers from an out-of-state staffing firm, according to the story. And in a point now being disputed by Hyatt, the Globe also said that the housekeepers had to train their replacements after being told they would fill in for vacations…. Fast forward to this past Thursday. Several hundred hotel workers came out to rally against the firings in front of the Hyatt Regency Boston, chanting “Hyatt, shame on you,” according to the Globe..US Representative Michael Capuano and state Senator Anthony Galluccio called for a boycott of Hyatt, according to the Globe’s piece. “Maybe they should have just taken the chocolates off the pillows, I don’t know,’’ Capuano told the people assembled, according to the story. “If we let them do this, another hotel will do it, and then another business, and on and on.’’… The controversy kept snowballing today, with even the Harvard Business Review scolding Hyatt in its blog post headlined, “Lessons From Hyatt: Simple Ways to Damage Your Brand.”

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has threatened a boycott of Hyatt Hotels  by state employees on official business. 

Hyatt provides jobs for people and most of us need jobs. But we can’t get by in a nation where loyalty and good work has no value. Hyatt should bring back the dismissed workers. If wage cuts must be made, then deal with the people who have had a hand in making Hyatt a successful hotel chain.

When will American business places realize that if they hope to make money, that there are going to have to be workers and consumers who have good paychecks and steady work?

When will American consumers realize that a focus on price at the expense of everything else will lead only to a downward spiral of wages and benefits?

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September 25, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , ,

5 Comments »

  1. its not right but at times understandible. you have aged employees that refuse to work and are protected and file lawsuits contantly and they put everyones job in danger. my guess is and i could be wrong. they were a lazy staff that rode on senority and performance was poor. the lower paid people as you refer to them as i am sure are glad to have a job and will work harder and better than the crew that just got bagged. again i could be wrong.

    Comment by bill brady | September 27, 2009

  2. Sorry, Bill, but your charges the employees are “aged” and “refuse to work” and so on, sounds like a lot of empty rhetoric to me. Can you refer me to any statements, stories or examples specific to this group that can confirm this?

    No, this is Hyatt’s way of reducing their costs, and to do so with so little regard to long-standing employees shows a callousness and lack of respect that I will no longer stay at any Hyatt properties.

    But let’s set aside the argument about labor costs for the time being. Here is how Hyatt has hurt themselves…

    When a company makes a decision to outsource they lose any loyalty they enjoyed from their employees. The new workers are not part of Hyatt and, therefore, clearly understand they owe no loyalty to the chain. Do they show any pride in their work? Why should they, they’re just there because they cost Hyatt less, so they know their employment is totally dependent on doing the cheapest job possible.

    I worked for a cruise that paid the highest wages in the industry, and did not allow tips (another way companies tyr to offload their labor costs) but our labor costs per dollar of profit were far below that of the competition.

    And – most of all – we had crew members who were extremely proud of working for us, recommended us to their friends, and treated our guests like the lifeblood of our company they were.

    Hyatt has lost the positive impact of loyal employees. The few bucks they have saved will not make up for the decline in their profits.

    Comment by Ken | October 8, 2009

  3. well ken you might be right. i just look at both sides of the coin as often as possible. i worked at a hyatt and hated the way they ran the hotel, worked for hilton as well. same same. hotel work is brutal and relentless and i have alot of respect for hospitality workers more than anyone could know. Union especially restaurant unions are a joke and for many years took my money without a sigle return. these might have all been hard working dedicated folks but i still have my doubts.

    Comment by bill brady | October 8, 2009

  4. Aahhhh, yes…the union issue! A key question – not addressed in any of the stories on this that I have found – is whether or not the Hyatt hotels in Boston and the unions discussed the financial realities of the economic downturn, and what it means to everyone’s jobs and pay scale.

    Another question not addressed is whether or not these hotels are Hyatt owned or franchised and just managed by Hyatt.

    All of this goes to the root question, did the two sides talk and try to reach an agreement that would (a) save jobs, and (b) help the hotels make a profit?

    It is easy to say the unions are always looking out for ‘the little guy’ but the sad truth is the unions are just like the outsourcing company in Georgia…they are an organization in the business of providing labor, nothing more, nothing less.

    A smart company works on creating a work environment in which the employee becomes more loyal to the company than to the union. Sadly, most companies do not want to take the time and make the effort because this requires developing good middle- and lower-levels of management. Instead, they want to get the quick hit on profits so their stock prices look good. Satisfying Wall Street in the short run is given more importance than the long term survivability of the firm.

    Comment by Ken | October 9, 2009

  5. so we both agree nothing is as cut and dry and it may seem. left right hotels unions its a tangled up place we live in and it seems to just get more tangled each day.

    Comment by bill brady | October 9, 2009


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