|Boston HeraldMcClatchy-Tribune Regional
September 25, 2009 - The Hyatt hotel chain treated 100 housekeepers shabbily when it fired them this month. But Gov. Deval Patrick's response -- a state government boycott of Hyatt hotels until the workers are rehired -- is way, way over the top.
We share the governor's empathy for the housekeepers, some of whom were reportedly forced to train their lower-wage replacements unwittingly.
But nearly every day in this newspaper and others there are reports of job losses at private companies all over Massachusetts.
Were the jobs of those constituents less valuable? Did those workers have fewer mouths to feed?
And what of the state employees whose jobs disappeared because of spending choices the governor himself, like Hyatt, was forced to make?
Of course liberals were in full swoon yesterday over the governor's chest-thumping, making this move politically popular with candidate Patrick's base.
And when 56 percent of voters think someone else ought to be doing the job -- as a new Suffolk University/7News poll suggests -- Patrick certainly can't afford for any of those folks to defect.
Yesterday Patrick suggested that it was the manner in which the housekeepers were dismissed that made the difference here. Fine, so he should beat up Hyatt all he wants.
But for the state's chief executive to order a boycott that threatens the livelihoods of his constituents who are still employed by the hotel chain is simply irresponsible.
Finally, we have to wonder just how much traveling state employees are doing these days anyway, when we are in the thick of an unprecedented fiscal crisis?
There is an entire arm of the Patrick bureaucracy dedicated to jobs -- developing them, protecting them, helping people find them. The governor's energies would be better spent helping these 100 Hyatt workers land on their feet than in issuing empty threats.
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