Hotel employees fearing replacement by low-cost temporary workers were demonstrating in front of a Hyatt in Chicago on Thursday morning when a manager at the facility turned on high-powered heat lamps directly above them. It was one of the hottest days of the year. The lamps were eventually shut off.

Hyatt management previously agreed to the pay and benefits package demanded by the workers’ union, Unite Here, but employees were brought back into the heat by reports that Hyatt has been replacing long-term employees with cheaper temp workers nationwide. Demonstrations took place at the company’s hotels around the country Thursday. More than 100 people were arrested. –ARK

The Huffington Post:

On Thursday morning, hundreds of unionized hotel workers gathered outside of Chicago’s Park Hyatt. After nearly two years of negotiations, they demanded a new contract, protested working conditions and decried the company’s alleged plans to outsource jobs. The steamy weather did not keep workers away — and neither did heat lamps the hotel allegedly turned on during the demonstration.

… Carrasquillo said he and his coworkers have been trying to negotiate a contract with the hotel for nearly two years. While Hyatt has agreed to the union’s pay and benefits package, Carrasquillo said benefits won’t help him if his job is outsourced.

… According to Unite Here, the Hyatt has been replacing long-term employees with low paid temp workers nationwide. In Boston, the union said, Hyatt “fired its entire housekeeping staff at three non-union hotels, replacing women who had worked at Hyatt for decades with temporary workers at far lower rates of pay.”

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