Chicago Sun-Times
Staff reports on all things politics - from City Hall to Springfield to Washington, D.C.

Hyatt workers in Chicago protest Pritzker nomination; 4-year wage freeze

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With Chicago's Penny Pritzker set to undergo confirmation hearings this week in Washington, the workers from the hotel chain that brought her fortune came out in force to protest.

Hyatt Hotels workers protested outside of Hyatt McCormick Place, 2233 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Dr. in Chicago today. It's just the latest battle in an ongoing feud between the hotel empire and workers who say they've been stuck in a four-year wage freeze.

Carly Karmel of UNITE HERE Local 1 told the Sun-Times about 400 people turned out for the protest today.

The protests come after President Obama nominated Pritzker, one of his top fund-raisers, to be the next U.S. Commerce Secretary.

From the Hyatt Hurts web site: "The Commerce Secretary's first concern should be to create good, family sustaining jobs for all Americans," says Cathy Youngblood, a Hyatt housekeeper who has led a national campaign to elect a hotel worker to Hyatt's Board of Directors. "Under Pritzker's direction, Hyatt has led the hotel industry in a race to the bottom by aggressively subcontracting out career hotel jobs to minimum wage temps. This is not the model that will lead our country to a bright economic future."

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