Reacting to the outcry over the firing of 98 housekeepers at three Boston-area Hyatt hotels, Hyatt Hotels Corp. announced September 25 that it has found full-time jobs in the Boston market for the displaced workers.
Hyatt, which created a task force to help find new jobs for the workers, found a willing partner in United Services Co., a Chicago-based cleaning and maintenance service contractor that works with hotels, events, shopping centers, and other organizations. All 98 workers will be offered jobs at USC, which will match through 2010 the employees' Hyatt rate of pay. Additionally, Hyatt will provide health coverage for the workers through March 2010. After that, they can obtain health insurance through USC.
"Every housekeeping employee who wants a job will have one. That's our promise," said Phil Stamm, general manager at the Hyatt Regency Boston, in a statement. After 2010, USC expects to hire the workers permanently, said USC Chief Executive Officer Roger Simon, according to an article in The Boston Globe.
Workers who choose not to take a job at USC will receive career services and training opportunities through a partnership Hyatt formed with Manpower Inc. and Right Management, a Philadelphia-based career consulting company. Workers also will receive financial support equal to their Hyatt pay rate through March 2010, or until they get permanent jobs.
"We sincerely hope these efforts demonstrate the respect we have for our associates and renew the community's faith in Hyatt. We did attempt to implement this staffing change in a respectful manner, and many of the assertions that have been made are false. We do, however, recognize and regret that we did not handle all parts of the transition in a way that reflects our organization's values," Stamm said.
But it appears that at least some of the workers are not appeased by the concession. According to The Boston Globe, after meeting yesterday at the Unite Here, Local 26 union office, 77 of the 98 workers rejected the offer. The union also yesterday declared a national boycott against Hyatt, though the laid-off workers are not union members.
When the news of the layoffs broke last week, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick threatened a state-business boycott of the three Hyatt properties in question-Hyatt Regency Boston, Hyatt Regency Cambridge, and Hyatt Harborside. According to the Globe article, Patrick was said to be reviewing the latest proposal. Also, the Boston Taxi Drivers Association, which had threatened to boycott the properties, reportedly called off its boycott in light of the new Hyatt offer.