Key Religious Leaders Launch Coalition with Chicago Hotel Workers (UNITE HERE)

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The religious community’s moral stand comes at a critical time for Chicago-area hotel workers. Contracts covering nearly 7,000 workers at 26 hotels expire on August 31, 2006. Workers at Hilton and Hyatt properties will vote on Monday August 21 and Tuesday August 22 (respectively) to authorize their committees to call a strike if necessary.

“To exploit or oppress a worker because one has the power to do so is to offend God,” said Rabbi Victor Mirelman, President, Chicago Board of Rabbis.

“I wash dishes to pay the bills, but the power of the Holy Spirit is what keeps me alive. I am proud that so many religious leaders are helping us in our struggle to join the middle class,” Cleopatria Kyles a negotiating committee member from the Chicago Hilton & Towers.

What: Clergy breakfast and public unveiling of “Hospitality and Human Dignity Scroll” signed by over 400 prominent Chicago religious leaders. By signing this statement, these leaders are taking a moral stand to make sure the values of hospitality extend to the workers. Signatories pledge to support hotel workers who are fighting to join the middle class, improve their jobs and secure better lives for themselves and their families.

Who: Fifty Chicago-area religious leaders, including Rev. Larry Dowling, St. Denis Catholic Church and member of the Association of Chicago Priests; Rev. Robin Hood, Redeemed Outreach Ministries; Rabbi Victor Mirelman, President of the Chicago Board of Rabbis; Ahmed Rehab, Exec. Dir. of the Council on American Islamic Relations; and hotel workers

Where: The Signature Room, 95th floor of Hancock Tower

When: Friday, August 18, 9:00 am

Contact: Alexandra Canalos, UNITE HERE Local 1 Tel. 312-663-4373 ext. 249 or cell 773-597-5225

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