Protesting Workers Expect to be Arrested

Workers protest contract issues in act of "civil disobedience"

By Kate Allt
|  Thursday, Jul 22, 2010  |  Updated 4:15 PM CDT
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Protesting Workers Expect to be Arrested

Chicago Tribune

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Hotel workers striking against Chicago’s Hyatt Regency won’t be surprised if they’re handcuffed Thursday evening. In fact, they expect it.

Thousands of hotel workers are gathering in 15 cities to protest the expired labor contracts that have gone neglected for nearly a year. Here in Chicago, workers plan to sit in the middle of the street in an act of “civil disobedience”.

In a similar act last year, 200 protesting workers were arrested as they sat in the street to show support for 98 housekeepers who were laid off in Boston. If history repeats itself, Chicago police will have their hands full once again. The Chicago Tribune reports that several hundred protesters are expected.

Unite Here, an organization that represents workers in hospitality, gaming, food service, manufacturing, textile, laundry and airport industries, is organizing the protest. Unite Here has protested several times in the past, including a walk-out strike at the same Hyatt Regency in May. Workers argued that conditions were unsafe.

In a statement issued Thursday, Hyatt Regency Chicago said they “want to continue to take care of our employees, and we want them to continue enjoy working here, however, we must also take into consideration the current economic conditions.”

The protest will take place from 4:30 p.m. until 6 p.m. at Michigan Ave. and Wacker Drive.

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