CHICAGO (March 3, 2011) – Four Hyatt hotels in California and Indiana have filed petitions with the regional offices of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), an independent federal agency that safeguards employees' rights, to determine through secret-ballot elections whether Hyatt associates want the labor union UniteHere as their bargaining representative.
The petitions seek NLRB-supervised secret-ballot elections at four non-union Hyatt hotels where, for more than two years, Hyatt associates have been subjected to intimidation and harassment by the labor union UniteHere in its attempts to organize.
As the NLRB considers whether elections should proceed, Hyatt is calling on the union to agree to secret-ballot elections in accordance with the NLRB’s standard rules and regulations. UniteHere itself has requested these federally supervised elections in nearly 300 other settings over the past five years.
“Associates at these hotels have been subjected to intrusive and coercive UniteHere tactics as part of an organizing campaign for more than two years, including unwelcome home visits by union leadership and calls for boycotts that cause financial hardship for our associates,” said Robb Webb, chief human resources officer, Hyatt Hotels Corporation. “Our associates are frustrated by these tactics and have told us they want a resolution to this matter. We’re urging UniteHere to get secret-ballot elections underway so that our associates can make the choice about union representation.”
“It’s clear that UniteHere’s activities – which include boycotts, pickets, demands for work rule changes, employee grievance filings and other intimidating actions at these properties – constitute a claim that they represent our associates. However, our associates have not had an opportunity to vote on union representation, which is why we are calling for secret-ballot elections – it’s time their voices are heard,” Webb said.
If the NLRB approves the requests, elections would be held within approximately 40 days at Hyatt at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, Hyatt Regency Santa Clara, Hyatt Regency Long Beach and Hyatt Regency Indianapolis.
In a number of locations where UniteHere already represents Hyatt associates, union leadership has delayed coming to the bargaining table in an attempt to pressure Hyatt into “card check” at the four California and Indiana hotels that have filed petitions. Card-check eliminates an employee’s right to a private vote.
“Many of our associates are union members, and we are proud of the great relationship we maintain with them,” Webb said. “Unfortunately, UniteHere leadership is engaging in an organizing tactic designed to increase union membership and dues at the expense of many union Hyatt associates who have been working without contracts for more than a year. By delaying contract negotiations for so long, UniteHere is using its own members as pawns in a national campaign to grow membership elsewhere rather than representing their best interests.”
“The law makes clear that our associates have the right to decide on representation in a government-supervised secret-ballot election with certain rules and parameters,” said Webb. “We believe that the democratic voting process administered by the NLRB for more than 75 years is the best way to assure that our associates’ voices are heard.”
The NLRB, established with the passage of the National Labor Relations Act in 1935, is the independent federal agency responsible for the scheduling and execution of private-sector elections to establish or dissolve union bargaining units.
About Hyatt Hotels Corporation
Hyatt Hotels Corporation, headquartered in Chicago, is a leading global hospitality company with a proud heritage of making guests feel more than welcome. Thousands of members of the Hyatt family in 45 countries strive to make a difference in the lives of the guests they encounter every day by providing authentic hospitality. The Company’s subsidiaries manage, franchise, own and develop hotels and resorts under the Hyatt®, Park Hyatt®, Andaz®, Grand Hyatt®, Hyatt Regency®, Hyatt Place®and Hyatt Summerfield Suites®brand names and have locations on six continents. Hyatt Residential Group, Inc., a Hyatt Hotels Corporation subsidiary, develops, operates, markets or licenses as Hyatt ResidencesTM and Hyatt Vacation Club®,which is changing its name to Hyatt Residence ClubTM. As of December 31, 2010, the company’s worldwide portfolio consisted of 453 properties. For more information, please visit www.hyatt.com.
Statements in this press release, which are not historical facts, are “forward-looking” statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements include statements about our plans, strategies, financial performance, prospects or future events and involve known and unknown risks that are difficult to predict. As a result, our actual results, performance or achievements may differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by the use of words such as “may,” “could,” “expect,” “intend,” “plan,” “seek,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “predict,” “potential,” “continue,” “likely,” “will,” “would” and variations of these terms and similar expressions, or the negative of these terms or similar expressions. Such forward-looking statements are necessarily based upon estimates and assumptions that, while considered reasonable by us and our management, are inherently uncertain. Factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations include, among others, the depth and duration of the current economic downturn; levels of spending in the business, travel and leisure industries as well as consumer confidence; declines in occupancy and average daily rate; hostilities, including future terrorist attacks, or fear of hostilities that affect travel; travel-related accidents; changes in the tastes and preferences of our customers; relationships with associates and labor unions and changes in labor law; the financial condition of, and our relationships with, third-party property owners, franchisees and hospitality venture partners; risk associated with potential acquisitions and dispositions and the introduction of new brand concepts; changes in the competitive environment in our industry and the markets where we operate; outcomes of legal proceedings; changes in federal, state, local or foreign tax law; fluctuations in currency exchange rates; general volatility of the capital markets and our ability to access the capital markets. A more complete description of these risks and uncertainties can be found in our filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including our Annual Report on Form 10-K. We caution you not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements, which are made as of the date of this press release. We undertake no obligation to update publicly any of these forward-looking statements to reflect actual results, new information or future events, changes in assumptions or changes in other factors affecting forward-looking statements, except to the extent required by applicable laws. If we update one or more forward-looking statements, no inference should be drawn that we will make additional updates with respect to those or other forward-looking statements.
# # #
Hyatt Hotels Corporation