OPRF should change their prom site next year

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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First let me wish the Oak Park and River Forest High School graduating class of 2013 all the best. I hope they never face the disregard for their health and the extreme working conditions that the Hyatt Hotel chain dishes out to their hospitality staff.

OPRF has held the senior prom at the Hyatt Regency for the past several years. This year is no exception. However, the hospitality workers — union members of UNITE-HERE! — have called for a boycott of the Hyatt Hotel chain. Visit hyatthurts.org/about-the-boycott to find for information.

This is a labor dispute between Hyatt management and its workers. The contract signed between OPRF and Hyatt Regency likely has a clause that would allow the school to break the contract over a labor dispute. Practically, it is too late to do anything this year, but the contract for the next senior prom will be considered shortly.

A couple of years ago, the District 200 school board knew about this dispute. A phone call was made to Hyatt management, and the board was told that the hotel was in negotiations with the union. Apparently this was good enough since no call was made to UNITE-HERE! Local 1 to get their view.

The D200 board will very soon consider where to hold the senior prom for the graduating class of 2014. There are plenty of quality hotels in Chicago that can provide for the safety and entertainment of our students without disrespecting the rights, health and safety of workers. Go to unitehere1.org and click on the tab "union hotel guide" for several excellent Chicago establishments.

Tom Broderick

Proud parent of a 2007 OPRF graduate

Reader Comments

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Timothy Ryan from Oak Park  

Posted: May 6th, 2013 4:27 PM

It's my hope that the D200 board has bigger concerns than where the senior prom is held. That seems to me to be a staff/parent decision and the board should have part in it. If the board is required to sign off on the contract due to $$, fine. Make the decision on the value & cost of Hyatt services only based on staff recommendation. Don't insert yourself where you don't belong.


Posted: May 4th, 2013 4:46 PM

Here's a suggestion for UNITE-HERE!: use your billions in pension money to purchase hotels (other businesses, too) and then pay "living wages" and OPRF-like pensions to EVERY ONE of your employees! You can still use your dues as payoffs to the Democrats who control Illinois and therefore retain your "sweetheart" deals - while the rest of the citizenry struggle to pay the taxes and fees imposed by you and your political buddies. C'mon, stop being just a parasite and instead be the host/owner!!!

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