My name is Cathy Youngblood. I work as a housekeeper at the Hyatt Andaz in West Hollywood. There are many positive things about being a housekeeper. I get to meet the world. I have a real bond with the other women I work with. I also take pride in working in a field where I give comfort and pleasure to people when they travel.
There are also challenges to being a housekeeper. Every day the work is exhausting and physically debilitating. And management doesn’t always really listen when we have ideas about how to make the work safer or more efficient.
I care about my job, but also I see how things could be better. That’s why Hyatt needs someone like me on its board of directors. The current corporate officers might have business sense, but I have common sense. They push paper, I do the physical labor.
Today a global boycott of Hyatt Hotels was declared. As a server at the Hyatt Andaz in West Hollywood, not only do I personally condone it, but I also urge all my friends, family and online contacts to join me in voting Hyatt the worst hotel employer in America.
This is the first time in history that there has ever been a global boycott of a hotel chain, and I believe it is well deserved.
My personal journey to this decision started last September during our seven-day strike in front of the Andaz on Sunset Boulevard, where my coworkers and I were in a battle for decent wages and a fair tipping policy. A lot of us frankly were tired of working three or four different jobs while only getting paid for one.
I hadn’t yet heard of some of the stories from different Hyatt hotels across the country – like the one about Hyatt firing its entire housekeeping staff in Boston and replacing them with minimum-wage temp workers.