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Union Workers Filing Federal Complaint Over Heat Lamps at Chicago Hotel

July 29, 2011
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Union workers at the Park Hyatt Chicago are filing a complaint with the federal government over a decision on July 21 to turn on heat lamps outside the hotel as workers were picketing.

“The employer assaulted the employees and tried to fry them by shining heat lamps on them in the middle of what was already a hot, humid day,” Unite Here Local 1 said in a July 28 news release.

The union, which represents about 170 workers at the Michigan Avenue hotel, said employees there are filing unfair-labor-practice charges over the incident with the National Labor Relations Board.

The union said 10 heat lamps in the awning above the Park Hyatt front entrance were turned on when the strike began in the morning and were left on for about an hour.

Chicago-based Hyatt Hotels Corp., which runs the hotel at 800 N. Michigan Ave., has already apologized for the incident, saying the decision “was not in line with our values or with our corporate policies.”

A Hyatt spokeswoman was not immediately available for comment.

A labor contract dispute between Hyatt and Local 1 has been brewing for nearly two years. Union employees at downtown Hyatt hotels have been working without a new labor contract since the old one expired on Aug. 31, 2009.  

Filed by Alby Gallun of Crain’s Chicago Business, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, email editors@workforce.com.

 

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