[gtu-list] Urgent: Petition AAR/SBL to Honor Hyatt Hotel Boycott in Chicago!

Roy Birchard roybir2002 at yahoo.com
Fri Mar 23 19:02:23 PDT 2012

From: Rev. Israel I. Alvaran <ialvaran at umc-gbcs.org>
 Subject: Urgent: Petition AAR/SBL to Honor Hyatt Hotel Boycott in Chicago!

Dear friends and members of AAR/SBL,

The American Academy of Religion (AAR) and the Society for Biblical Literature (SBL) have room blocks at two boycotted Hyatt Hotels in Chicago for the November 2012 AAR/SBL Annual Meeting. There is a petition circulating below asking AAR/SBL to move their business from these boycotted Hyatt Hotels. I request you as a conscientious member of the academy and the faith community to sign the petition and forward this to other AAR/SBL members who you know. Please email Ross Hyman (see below) who works with the hotel workers union, and is the person tasked to gather signatures.

As a former community organizer for UNITE HERE Local 2, the hotel workers union in San Francisco, I urged AAR/SBL to stay away from boycotted hotels last year when they held their annual meeting in San Francisco. They decided not to honor the boycott and had their lawyer tell me to cease and desist from contacting their board of directors. They got lucky that the Hilton signed a contract with workers and the boycott was lifted before the 2011 annual meeting. They are doing the same thing this year, attempting to cross workers' picket lines. It might be different in Chicago because Hyatt, being the worst corporation in the hospitality industry in the way it treats workers, is not about to give in - even after losing over $23 million dollars because of the boycott. 

For more information about the Hyatt workers struggle, please check these websites: 

Please urge AAR/SBL to value working people, and honor the boycott called for by workers at these Hyatt hotels in Chicago. Sign the petition below by emailing Ross Hyman.



Rev. Israel I. Alvaran, D.Min.
National Organizer for Economic Justice
General Board of Church and Society
The United Methodist Church
ialvaran at umc-gbcs.org

"Justice is what love looks like in public." - Dr. Cornel West



Dear fellow members of the American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature,

As you know, we are meeting in Chicago this year at the McCormick Place 
Convention Center and there are room blocks at many hotels in the city. We are asking you to honor the workers* boycott of Hyatt Hotels by 
refusing to stay, or enter, or spend money at the Hyatt Regency or the 
Hyatt McCormick Place hotels. The workers at  Hyatt have asked customers
 to boycott these hotels until they have achieved justice.  You can 
honor the boycott and attend the convention so long as you do not enter a
 Hyatt hotel.  This will mean forgoing any sessions or interviews 
scheduled at Hyatt. 

Please sign this petition asking the AAR and SBL to pull its business 
from the Hyatt hotels.  Scholars should not be put in the position of 
having to violate a boycott in order to attend sessions and interviews. 
Please also commit to honoring the boycott yourself and send in your 
signature on this petition before the board meets on April 20.

In order to sign the petition, send an email with your name, title and 
institution (for identification purposes only) to Ross Hyman at  rhyman at aflcio.org.

Please forward this on to your AAR and SBL contacts. Thank you. 
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