Union files labor claim over steamy Park Hyatt heat lamps
BY FRANCINE KNOWLES Staff Reporter July 28, 2011 9:44AM
The heat lamps were turned on during this protest July 21. | John H. White~Sun-Times
Updated: July 29, 2011 2:14AM
The union representing Park Hyatt Chicago workers, who found themselves subjected to heat lamps during a strike at the hotel last week as temperatures soared into the high 90s, has filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board over the matter.
The hotel’s former general manager, who retired last week, admitted he’d turned on the lamps, the union said, citing a written public apology from the hotel.
“The employer assaulted the employees and tried to fry them by shining heat lamps on them in the middle of what was already a hot, humid day,” Unite Here Local 1 claims in the charges.
On Thursday, the hotel said in a statement, “The manager who made the decision was already scheduled to retire and last Friday was his last day. If it hadn’t been, we would have taken corrective action appropriate to the seriousness of the conduct.”
The heat lamps, used to warm up guests and workers during cold weather, were turned on at the hotel’s main entrance at 800 N. Michigan as workers were gathered for the one-day work stoppage.
The hotel said last week as soon as it became aware the heat lamps were on, they were turned off immediately and water was offered to employees and guests in front of the hotel. Francine Knowles,
with Sun-Times Media Wire