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.
Proud parent of a 2007 OPRF graduate
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