On April 26 the IUF-affiliated National Union of Workers in Hotel, Restaurant and Allied Industries (NUWHRAIN) held led a protest action in front of the Hyatt Hotel and Casino Manila in solidarity with the “Hyatt Hurts!” campaign in the US.
Joined by other trade unions and organizations including the Alliance for Progressive Labor (APL), NUWHRAIN issued a press statement drawing attention to the stories of rights violations and unfair treatment of workers in the US reported on the Hyatt Hurts campaign website. NUWHRAIN, the lead organization in the picket in front of the Hyatt Hotel and Casino Manila, reaffirmed its “solidarity with the workers of Hyatt in the United States and elsewhere in the world who have suffered and continued to suffer from many forms of exploitation and abuses perpetrated by the hotel brands under the Hyatt Corporation.”
Picketing outside the Hyatt Hotel and Casino Manila, both NUWHRAIN and APL are members of the recently formed Sentro ng mga Progresibong Manggagawa (Sentro) which was also represented at the protest action.
A king sized mattress was placed outside the Hyatt as part of the protest action, illustrating to the media and the public what room attendants working alone must lift to change sheets, cleaning as many as 30 rooms a day!
NUWHRAIN also recalled the vicious union-busting by Hyatt in the Philippines, which culminated in the closure of the Hyatt Regency Manila in 2007 in response to the successful union organizing campaign.
Edwin Bustillos, President of Samahang Manggagawa sa Hyatt (Samasah),
asserted that Hyatt illegally sacked employees, mostly unionized regular workers, through the Hotel Enterprises of the Philippines Inc. (HEPI), and these workers still retain the right to return to work or receive payment of both separation and retirement benefits as provided by law and the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) that existed at that time.
NUWHRAIN points out that the Hyatt Corp., as the brand owner, is as guilty as HEPI not only for failing to prevent the mass dismissal and for the continued non-implementation of the court orders, but as proven also by its later actions like what is happening in Hyatt hotels now in the US.
Currently a new Grand Hyatt Manila, a 66-floor mixed-use hotel and office tower, is under construction in Taguig City.
The action in Manila follows a protest action in Chennai, India, on 17 April organized by the Tamil Nadu state committee of the IUF-affiliated Hotel Employees Federation of India (HEFOI).