You’re a bitch, girl, and you’ve gone too far

Wow. This is just amazing:

It was already approaching 100° at 8 a.m. when I arrived the Park Hyatt where, after 22 months of stalled negotiations, hotel workers were staging a one-day picket to protest the hotel chain’s intolerable treatment of their housekeeping staff.

In case you didn’t know, Hyatt is owned by the Pritzker family. Heiress Penny Sue Pritzker chairs Obama’s national campaign finance committee. She is also a big player in Democratic Party politics as well as in the world of anti-union, corporate school reform and was recently appointed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel to a seat on the Chicago school board.

Pritzker’s response to the Park Hyatt strikers was to turn on the hotel’s powerful heating lamps to try and bake the workers into submission on this brutally hot day. But this seemingly inhuman and probably illegal response seemed to have had just the opposite effect. Picketers began chanting, “Hyatt can’t take the heat, but we can!” The lamps were left on until word got out and media began to show up.

13 thoughts on “You’re a bitch, girl, and you’ve gone too far

  1. Anybody ask the president what he thinks about all this? I mean, it’s getting a little close to home for him to avoid.

  2. Well, if he’s got her vote, he sure as hell don’t need mine. Its his decision.

  3. OMG!!! Is there any humanity left among the ultra-rich in this country? Dogs are treated more kindly!

  4. Too bad for you, Fen, that neither Obama nor Piggy Penny are liberals. They’re corporatists who would have been right at home in the Nixon Cabinet. But your Republican buddies have gone so far to the right — thanks to folks like the Ayn-Rand-worshipping Koch brothers, whose daddy founded and funded the John Birch Society and who themselves are the money men behind ALEC — that they’re not even on the same planet as the rest of America.

  5. This simply couldn’t be — the Pritzkers are fine community-minded folks who award a prestigious and lucrative architecture prize bearing their name each year. Certainly they wouldn’t waste energy like that.

  6. Sorry to rain on this parade, but no account of this story has Ms. Pritzker involved in union negotiations or actually managing this particular hotel in any way, let alone turning on the heat lamps herself. “Heiress” is not a job description, otherwise I would be sending my negative reviews of the last Hilton hotel I stayed in to Paris Hilton. Middle managers and top managers obsessed with raising their bonuses are the ones who dream up crap like dumping reliable permanent employees for diffident temps, and their moral bearings are such that they are perfectly capable of coming up with atrocities like turning on the heat lamps in 100-degree weather on their own. At least until they’re called upon to give explanations to camera-bearing outsiders.

    The fact that Ms Pritzker is who she is happens to be a fine irony worthy of mention. But it’s the on-site management of this hotel that deserves every pithy insult that can be conjured. Instead of taking the easy pot-shot at an heiress, let’s put up a rogue’s gallery of the faces of true evil — the people managing this property and whoever their union-busting consultants are.

  7. And Rupert Murdoch doesn’t know anything about wire-tapping.
    Ms. Pritzker is probably personally innocent in this particular instance, but there is a shitload of credibility riding on this, and not just hers. Somebody better start making a show.

  8. Those who are above don’t know and can’t be held responsible for the actions of those below because the whole system is designed that way, for purposes of deniability.

    On the other hand if this hotel started losing money, those above would sure as hell start squeezing those below to make it explicitly clear who is in charge.

    If the woman lives off of blood money, she is stained with it, and her unawareness of what it takes to fund her luxurious life is more of a condemnation than an excuse.

  9. Pritzker is one of three billionaire Obama donors who expressed their opposition the the Employee Free Choice Act:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=a6A3G.MZZqIw&refer=home

    Pritzker is also a member of the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago. This group continues to push for pension “reform” (as in cuts) for public employees:

    http://preaprez.wordpress.com/2011/05/30/ty-fahner-head-of-the-corporate-civic-committee-signs-pension-statement-with-cross-and-madigan/

    The punchline to this is that Pritzker started a private equity firm funded partially with $500 million from the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System:

    http://www.substancenews.net/articles.php?page=2016

    The other punchline is that Illinois’ Governor Quinn, who ran on protecting the pensions of public employees, is now talking “reform”:

    http://preaprez.wordpress.com/2010/03/25/teacher-pensions-civic-committee-and-trib-is-cocked-and-reloaded/

    So maybe Pritzker didn’t know about those heat lamps but she knows how to target unions.

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