News Coverage of Hyatt 100 Protest — Six MNA/NNU Members Were Arrested for Civil Disobediance in Call for Support of Mistreated Workers
Below is a sampling of news coverage from a powerful demonstration held yesterday outside the Hyatt Regency Cambridge in support of the “Hyatt 100,”
Part of a nationwide protest against the giant hotel corporation, more than 250 union members, community supporters and dozens of nurses from the MNA NNU marched in front of the hotel in a powerful demonstration that highlighted the two-year struggle of the 100 housekeepers whose firings from the three Boston area Hyatt hotels sparked an ongoing national protest and a boycott of the Boston hotels.
The protest culminated with an act of civil disobedience when 35 protesters, including six MNA RNs, were arrested after staging a sit-in at the front entrance of the hotel. The members included Pat Mayo, Kathy Metzger, Paula Ryan, Ann Marie McDonagh, Karen Higgins (NNU Co-President) and Julie Pinkham (MNA Executive Director). A phalanx of Cambridge police officers approached the protesters, and after repeated requests for the protesters to leave, each was handcuffed and escorted to a waiting sheriff’s bus, while the crowd cheered and chanted: “What we want? Justice. When do we want it? Now!”
MNA President Donna Kelly-Williams explained why the MNA/NNU has joined the demonstration. We are here because what happened to these dedicated workers could happen to any employee. And for any of us to allow this behavior to go unopposed allows all employers to join the race to the bottom in the treatment of working people. We are here to stand up for these workers, and workers everywhere who are being abused and cast off by an unrestrained corporate culture that says profits are more important than people, that the bottom line for wall street is more important than the quality of life on Main Street,” Kelly-Williams said.
The “Hyatt 100” were forced to unknowingly train their own replacements and were then dismissed without warning. The hotel chain refuses to reinstate the fired housekeepers despite climbing profits. Hyatt is the only major national hotel chain in Boston that outsources its housekeeping.
Higgins pointed out that this is just one in a series of activities the Massachusetts Nurses Association and National Nurses United is engaging in as part of a campaign for a Main Street Contract for the American People, an effort to reverse national priorities and policies that have placed the interests of Wall Street over the values of nurses and other workers. The campaign calls for jobs with living wages, equal access to good education, guaranteed health care for all, good housing, a secure retirement, a clean environment and a fair taxation system. “We nurses are demonstrating today because we are committed, not only to healing our patients, but to healing our nation by combating corporate greed and abuse wherever it takes place.”
For more information on the Main Street campaign, visit www.nationalnursesunited.org
Excerpts of Protest Coverage
35 arrested in protest against Hyatt in Cambridge
Cambridge — Thirty-five people were arrested for trespassing at the Hyatt Regency Thursday afternoon during a protest against the Hyatt’s treatment of cleaning staff.
Approximately 200 union members and members of the public gathered to support the civil disobedience, and represent the “Hyatt 100,” the 98 Boston-area cleaning workers who were abruptly fired two years ago.
The sweltering temperatures drew plenty of sweat from the crowd, but it didn’t stop them from marching, chanting and singing with energy.
“I just don’t think I could sleep at night if I wasn’t out here fighting for those who lost their jobs,” said Gillian Mason, 31, of Boston, before she was arrested.
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Hotel workers' union staging protest against Hyatt in Cambridge
Cambridge — It’s been nearly two years since the “Hyatt 100” lost their jobs at three Hyatt hotels in the Boston area. But a hotel workers’ union is still fighting to get them their old jobs back.
Unite Here Local 26 will be joined by members of the Massachusetts Nurses Association at a protest at the Hyatt hotel on Memorial Drive in Cambridge this afternoon. Hundreds of protestors, including many members of the original “Hyatt 100,” are expected to attend.
Some protestors will engage in civil disobedience and not leave the hotel until they are arrested, said Brian Lang, president of Unite Here Local 26.
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