Hyatt Hotel Workers Protest Outsourcing and Unsafe Workplace
Yesterday approximately 3,000 Hyatt employees began a weeklong strike in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Honolulu to protest Hyatt's outsourcing practices and unsafe working conditions. According to UNITE HERE, a union comprised of over 250,000 hotel and hospitality workers across North America, since its contract with Hyatt Hotels Corporation expired approximately a year ago, Hyatt has replaced its housekeeping staff with temporary minimum wage employees.
John Wilhelm, the President of UNITE HERE, stated, "Hyatt workers are waging a crucial struggle. In the face of widening income inequality and the systematic eradication of the American middle class, Hyatt workers are bravely fighting for the ability to stand up for one another in contending with a global giant like Hyatt."
The union is also seeking improved working conditions for housekeepers, who are required to clean approximately 30 rooms per day, which is nearly double the workload of housekeepers at other union hotels.
Media Resources: UNITE HERE Statement 9/8/11; Houston Chronicle 9/8/11; Chicago Tribune 9/8/11
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .