Re/affirmation of the Hyatt Boycott Pledge

We will not attend the Consultation on Conscience, a L'Taken seminar, or any event held at a boycotted Hyatt hotel.

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Jewish Statements of Support for Hyatt Workers and for Organized Labor

October 5, 2012

The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism   

Show your support for unions. Visit www.hotelworkersrising.org to find union hotels where you travel. Try to stay only at unionized properties. Traveling Justly Statement from the RAC

Central Conference of American Rabbis

We who have championed the cause of organized labor for so many decades can hardly exempt our own institutions from the ethical standards we would impose upon others. http://data.ccarnet.org/cgi-bin/respdisp.pl?file=4&year=5761

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Jewish Leaders To Link Up on Hyatt Hurts Conference Call March 28th

March 28, 2012

Please join Rabbi Jill Jacobs (Executive Director of Rabbis for Human Rights – North America), Rabbi Rachel Kahn-Troster (Director of Education and Outreach at Rabbis for Human Rights), Rabbi Barbra Penzner of Temple Hillel B'nai Torah, and Hyatt workers on a conference call at 2 pm EST on March 28th to discuss the Hyatt boycott. On the call, the rabbis will explain the urgency of the Hyatt boycott for the Jewish community and why jewish leaders have a singular role to play in supporting Hyatt workers who are fighting for their economic human rights.

Please RSVP to Rabbi Rachel Kahn-Troster at rkahntroster@rhr-na.org for call-in information. The call will take place at 2 pm EST on March 28th.

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Open the Gates of Justice

Editorial: Keeping It Kosher, Forward, June 30, 2011

Open the Gates of Justice

A Clergy Report on Working Conditions at Hyatt Hotels

As faith leaders, we believe that we have a moral responsibility to promote the just and ethical treatment of workers, and to intervene when powerful individuals or institutions seek to undermine their fundamental right as workers and as human beings. We have watched with deep dismay in recent years, as Hyatt, a multi-billion dollar corporation, has eliminated jobs, replaced career housekeepers with minimum wage temporary workers, and imposed dangerous workloads on those who remain.

This report the result of direct conversations with Hyatt workers across the U.S., details a broader practice by Hyatt that we find contrary to the religious traditions we uphold. (read more)

Dear Friends:

We are writing to ask you to support Hyatt Hotel workers with your signature. The Jewish community has many options for hotels that provide kosher food and whose housekeepers are protected by their unions. Therefore our stay at any hotel is an endorsement of the labor practices of that hotel.

The August, 2009 firing of 98 housekeepers (and their being replaced by subcontracted workers earning half the wages) at three Boston Hyatt hotels was so egregious that it prompted rabbis across the country and the governor of Massachusetts to call for a boycott of these three hotels unless the “Hyatt 100” are rehired.

A delegation of rabbis and Jewish community leaders led by Rabbi Barbara Penzner met with Hyatt executives in December, 2009 to ask that the housekeepers be re-hired and the Hyatt Corporation treat its employees fairly in their hotels across the country.

A 2010 study of 50 hotels across the country showed that the Hyatt hotels studied had the highest injury rates for housekeeping staff of the hotels studied.

At several non-union Hyatt hotels, workers are seeking a fair process to form a union. We are deeply concerned for the welfare of these workers.

We ask you to take a stand for justice and join Jewish leaders in signing the statement of support.

Click here to sign on to the statement :: View a list of supporters

Rabbi Elliot Dorff (C)
American Jewish University
Los Angeles, CA

Rabbi Bruce Elder (Ref)
Congregation Hakafa
Glencoe, IL

Rabbi Ronne Friedman (Ref)
Temple Israel, Boston, MA

Rabbi Jill Jacobs (C), Executive Director, Rabbis for Human Rights North America, New York, NY

Rabbi Jonathan Klein
Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE-LA), Los Angeles, CA

Rabbi Robert Marx
Founder, Jewish Council
on Urban Affairs
Chicago, IL

Rabbi Barbara Penzner
Temple Hillel B'nai Torah (Rec), Boston, MA

Rabbi Jonah Pesner (Ref)
Chestnut Hill, MA

Rabbi Yael B. Ridberg (Rec)
West End Synagogue
New York, NY

Rabbi Brant Rosen (Rec)
Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation
Evanston, IL

Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz (O)
Founder, Uri L'Tzedek
Los Angeles, CA

 

Institutions are listed for identification purposes only.

 

The Torah commands us “You shall not abuse a needy and destitute laborer” (Deut 24:14), and the Rabbis later teach that employees have a right to organize and demand just conditions and compensation for their labor (Tosefta Bava Metzia 11:24).

We cannot stand idly by as the housekeepers and hotel workers of the Hyatt Hotels stand to lose their hard won and fair compensation. The call to pursue justice (Deut. 16:20) demands that we stand with these workers so that they don’t slip into poverty.

Therefore, we, the undersigned concerned rabbis, cantors, and community leaders, call on the owners and leadership of Hyatt Hotels to commit to the Jewish and universal obligations to treat workers fairly and to recognize the value of their labor. We call on all Jewish institutions and individuals to support Hyatt workers in their disputes, and we express our willingness to boycott Hyatt properties in support of these principles if requested to do so by the affected workers.

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