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.