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LGBT and IML role in boycott of Hyatt hotels

GLN permalink 10-18-2011

A boycott of some Hyatt hotels has been called by laborers protesting the hotel's lack of respect for working conditions and job security. Laborers at Hyatt hotels suffer from higher workplace injury rates than other hotels, and in Chicago, Hyatt hotels have been unwilling to accept labor contract terms accepted by all of the other major branded Chicago hotels. Gay Liberation Network has endorsed the boycott and participated in the picket line. We feel others in the LGBT community should be involved, too. Why?

First of all, the hospitality industry is a large employer of LGBT folk; these are our working conditions that need improvement.

Second, LGBT life historically has improved due to our ties with organized labor. Harvey Milk's solidarity with the Teamsters in the 1970s made anti-gay industrialists like the Coors' family sit up and take notice that business would suffer if LGBT demands were flouted. In addition, from the 1990s to the present, union workers have fought for and gained contracts that have included domestic partnership benefits - making those benefits relatively commonplace - to the benefit of everyone in the LGBT community.

Yet, LGBT organizations and individuals are ignoring the current labor boycott. Specifically in Chicago, International Mr. Leather (IML) held its event this spring at the boycotted Hyatt Regency Chicago and violated the picket line. This organization and its founder, Chuck Renslow, have shown the kind of disrespect to work-place issues that, were it shown to purely LGBT issues, would occasion howls of protest from these same people.

We urge the LGBT community to support the hotel workers' boycott and build LGBT community by learning more at sleepwiththerightpeople.org. Additionally, send IML the message to change its venue for 2012's event to a hotel where workers hold a contract (write them at: info@imrl.org).

In solidarity,

Gay Liberation Network

Join the picket line Tuesdays at 5pm at Park Hyatt Chicago, 800 N. Michigan
(entrance on Chicago Ave.)

Gay Liberation Network


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