For Immediate Release - September 23, 2009


Calls treatment of workers "substandard" in letter to Hyatt CEO, will meet with laid-off employees this week

BOSTON - Wednesday, September 23, 2009 - Governor Deval Patrick today announced that he will direct all state employees to stop doing official business with Hyatt unless the company rehires the housekeeping staff it fired from Boston-area hotels on August 31. In a letter to CEO Mark Hoplamazian sent yesterday, the Governor again expressed his concern for the impacted workers, called the company's treatment of its long-term employees "substandard" and said that he plans to meet with a group of affected workers this week to better understand the circumstances surrounding their discharge.

"[The] manner in which these workers were discharged is so inconsistent with both the expressed values of the Hyatt organization and basic fairness that I do not believe any other remedy than full reinstatement is adequate," wrote Governor Patrick. "Barring that, I will direct all state employees not to use Hyatt when traveling or for other purposes for the foreseeable future."

On August 31, Hyatt Hotels laid off housekeeping staff at the Hyatt Regency Boston, Hyatt Regency Cambridge and Hyatt Harborside Hotel and replaced them with lower-paid workers from Georgia-based Hospitality Staffing Solutions. The Governor expressed his concern to Mr. Hoplamazian in a phone conversation last week and asked that the company reconsider its decision. On Monday, Mr. Hoplamazian responded that he would not reinstate the workers. The Governor plans to meet with impacted employees this week to discuss how Hyatt handled their dismissal. Early media accounts reported the laid-off workers were required to train their replacements under the guise that they were fill-ins for vacation.

The Governor noted that this is an isolated incident and not reflective of the hospitality industry as a whole, but rather about the treatment of these individual workers.

"What has been imposed on these workers - most of whom have worked hard, played by the rules and invested their time and energy in your company's success - is both upsetting in its own right, and also the worst nightmare of every worker in today's weak economy," wrote Governor Patrick. "Surely there is some way to retain the jobs for your housekeeping staff, as other hotels have done, and to work with them to help the company meet its current challenges, rather than tossing them out unceremoniously to fend for themselves while the people they trained take their jobs at barely livable wages."

The Patrick-Murray Administration's Rapid Response Team has conducted outreach to all three Hyatt locations, and is working to connect workers with such resources as unemployment insurance and benefits and reemployment services available through the 37 One-Stop Career Centers across the state. For more information about additional employment services, please visit