|By Jeff Swiatek, The Indianapolis
StarMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Jan. 31, 2012--A union trying to organize workers at several Indianapolis hotels plans to picket the Hyatt Regency Indianapolis on Friday, as Super Bowl crowds throng Downtown.
Unite Now said it aims for more than 100 hotel workers, union members, local activists and others to join the action from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the hotel at Washington Street and Capitol Avenue.
The union said the picketing is over the Hyatt's alleged refusal to hire about 20 employees of a hotel subcontractor, Hospitality Staffing Solutions, who are being replaced because the hotel chain recently dropped its contract nationally with HSS.
"Because of Hyatt's decision and reliance on subcontracting, the fate of these . . . 20 workers hangs in the balance," Unite Now said in a statement. "Workers there make poverty wages and now some are being told after the Super Bowl they may not have a job when the tourists have come and gone."
Hyatt General Manager Brian Comes denied the charge, saying the HSS workers may apply for Hyatt jobs or jobs with the new subcontractor, United Services Co. They also may remain with HSS and be assigned work at other hotels, he said.
"It's very disappointing they manipulate this," Comes said of the union.
The Chicago-based union recently assisted 14 HSS workers in Indianapolis in filing a federal lawsuit against HSS and 10 Indianapolis hotels, alleging wage-and-hours violations.
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