Hyatt will assure new jobs for all displaced Boston housekeepers

It has been a pretty bad week for Hyatt. First, their Boston hotels were accused of tricking their housekeeping employees into retraining a replacement crew before firing them.

Then Hyatt responded that the accusations were untrue. And then the Boston unionized cab drivers decided to refuse to drop passengers off at Hyatt properties. To make matters worse. the Massachusetts Governor decided it would be politically rewarding (for himself) to demand a boycott of all Hyatt properties for MA workers.

Of course, this completely misses the point, as telling people to stop spending their money at a hotel will only punish the remaining workers. The whole purpose of having to lay off the 100 housekeepers was to reduce costs so the hotels could stay open.

Hopefully the whole incident can now come to an end, as Hyatt has found new jobs for the housekeeping staff they made redundant. The staff can all go to work for a local employer, and will be hired at their previous rate. In addition to this, they’ll also continue to get health coverage till March 31st 2010, after which they can get coverage from their new employer.

Anyone who wishes to pick a different career move will be offered free training and career services, and a task force has been established to open a dialogue with the employees to assist them any way they can.

I’m very surprised how quickly this whole incident blew up. People are losing their jobs every day, and you rarely hear anything other than the basic statistics on the news. Why this individual case managed to get so much attention is really beyond me. Obviously, any time staff are made redundant is a pretty tragic case, but Hyatt was no different than the thousands of other companies trying to stay alive in this challenging economy.

Hopefully the job offers for the Hyatt housekeepers will be sufficient for the Governor to back off, if not, I’m not sure what will make him happy. After the jump, the official statement from Hyatt Hotels regarding the job offer.


BOSTON (September 25, 2009) – All housekeepers affected by August staff reductions at the three Hyatt hotels in Boston will be offered new full-time positions in the Boston market. The jobs, which will be provided by an affiliate of United Service Companies, will match the employees’ previous Hyatt rate of pay through the end of 2010. The Boston Hyatt hotels will extend healthcare coverage through March 31, 2010 for the employees who choose to accept positions with United Service Companies, after which they will have the option to obtain health care benefits through their new employer.

“We are committed to supporting all of our associates, especially when they are negatively affected by business decisions made necessary by the most difficult economic environment in decades,” said Phil Stamm, general manager of the Hyatt Regency Boston and chair of a local Hyatt management task force formed to assist the displaced workers. “Every housekeeping employee who wants a job will have one. That’s our promise.”

Affected employees who wish to pursue a different employment path are being offered career services and training opportunities through a partnership Hyatt has formed with Manpower and Right Management. Employees opting to participate in the career services and retraining program will receive financial support equal to their Hyatt rate of pay through March 2010 or until they secure permanent jobs, whichever comes first. “We’re pleased to be able to support our employees with retraining and job search assistance provided by a highly respected employment and placement firm,” said Stamm.

“We are meeting with these individuals to fully explain their options, answer their questions and ease the transition,” said Michael Hickey, general manager of Hyatt Regency Cambridge, also a member of the task force. “The task force we set up accomplished what we set out to do. We believe the creative solutions we’re offering are responsive to the concerns expressed throughout our community, and are consistent with Hyatt’s core values as well as our responsibility to manage our properties prudently in this very difficult economy.”

“We sincerely hope these efforts demonstrate the respect we have for our associates and renew the community’s faith in Hyatt. Contrary to the way our actions have been characterized by many, we did attempt to implement this staffing change in a respectful manner and many of the assertions that have been made are false. We do, however, recognize and regret that we did not handle all parts of the transition in a way that reflects our organization’s values, ” said Stamm.