August 9, 2012 by Roseanne
A growing movement of hotel workers have organized a global boycott of Hyatt-owned properties – and they’re urging the yoga community to pressure Yoga Journal to not hold their conferences in the high-end hotel.
An anonymous source who works at a yoga studio in San Francisco told IAYB by email, “Three people, at least one of which was a former Hyatt worker, came into the studio yesterday with two flyers. The former Hyatt worker – an African American woman in her 50s – told us about her experience working at Hyatt. She then said they were trying to pressure Yoga Journal to boycott Hyatt and seeking support in the yoga community.”
The activists appear to be from Hotel Workers Rising. One of the flyers read “Yoga Journal: One With Abuse,” while the “Pledge to Boycott Hyatt” articulates how the practices of the Hyatt Corporation contradict yogic teachings.
By doing business with the Hyatt, Yoga Journal rejects the four aims of life: dharma (duty, ethics), artha (prosperity, wealth), kama (pleasure, sensual gratification), and moksha (the pursuit of liberation). The yoga community calls on Yoga Journal to support the global Hyatt boycott as workers fight for safe and sustainable working conditions, and respect and dignity in the workplace.
The Hyatt Regency San Francisco, where Yoga Journal will hold the 2013 San Francisco conference, is on HWR’s Boycott List. (Note: The properties where Yoga Journal will hold the Colorado, New York and Florida conferences are not on the Boycott List.)
Yoga Journal did not respond to my phone calls and emails for comment on their position.
The Hyatt Boycott has been heating up since organizers launched a global boycott on July 23, 2012. According to HyattHurts.org, the hotel chain “has singled itself out as the worst employer in the hotel industry. Hyatt has abused its housekeepers and other hotel workers, replacing longtime employees with minimum wage temporary workers and imposing dangerous workloads on those who remain.”
Many of the workers affected by the hotel’s unfair treatment are women and immigrants. The call for a global boycott is the latest step the workers have taken to end mistreatment, after speaking publicly about abuses and going on strike.
The boycott has the support of the NFL Players Association, the National Organization of Women (NOW), the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Netroots Nation, Interfaith Worker Justice, and many other business and political leaders. To date, more than 5,000 individuals, organizations and businesses have signed the pledge to honour the boycott. Yoga Journal is not among them.
What you can do:
1. Sign the pledge to not eat, meet or sleep in Hyatt Hotels.
2. Contact Yoga Journal’s Communications Director (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Yoga Journal Events (email@example.com), urging them to sign the pledge and hold the 2013 Yoga Journal San Francisco conference in another facility.
3. Tweet about the boycott, mentioning @yjevents and @yoga_journal
Further reading: Nathan at Dangerous Harvests, Hyatt Hotel Boycott Hits the North American Yoga Community