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Mary Ghikas's picture

Statement on call for global boycott of Hyatt Hotels

The following statement has been posted to the ALA Council list:


Statement on the call for a global boycott of Hyatt Hotels


In the past week, a number of posts on the ALA Council list have pointed to a call for a global boycott of Hyatt Hotels.  Information is available on the National Labor Relations Board website, as well as the UNITE HERE and Hyatt websites.


ALA, like other associations, cannot engage in practices which would be viewed by the law as “restraint of trade.” ALA cannot encourage a boycott of a specific vendor, product or service.  This does not mean that there cannot be discussion of a specific product, service or vendor at ALA meetings or in ALA publications, including discussion lists.  But, as relates to antitrust considerations, such discussion may not seek to fix prices, regulate the availability of services or products, encourage unfair practices, encourage non-competition, or encourage boycotts.  ALA members must refrain from using ALA resources, including discussion lists, for these purposes.


Antitrust law applies to both commercial and nonprofit organizations.  ALA’s tax status is not relevant to this issue.  Unions are exempt from most antitrust provisions, recognizing the specific purpose for which they are organized.


ALA provides a wide range of hotels for members at its conferences and recognizes that individuals selecting hotels will make different choices, for many reasons.  ALA does have Hyatt contracts in both Seattle (Midwinter 2013) and Chicago (Annual 2013).  The conference center at the Hyatt McCormick Place is an integral part of the 2013 ALA Annual Conference campus.  ALA will, as it has previously, be sure that Hyatt is aware that some ALA members may choose not to stay at a Hyatt property and will share specific concerns expressed by its members.



If members of the ALA Conference Committee (or other readers of this post) have further questions or concerns, they may be posted here.  You may also contact me (mghikas@ala.org or 312-280-2518). 

Jim Kuhn's picture

Am pasting below the text of my email to the ALA Council list on this subject:


I'd like to suggest that we consider the example of the APHA, which makes an important effort at open provision of information to its members via their conference housing form. Scroll to the bottom of this page: http://www.apha.org/meetings/housing/, or follow the helpful link "Union Labor Disputes."

As a member (but not at that time on Council), I was very much in support of Midwinter 2011 resolutions on this issue. And was pleased to hear ALA Attorney Goedert indicate on the floor of Council (you can find the minutes here: http://www.ala.org/aboutala/council-documents-annualmidwinter-2011) that it is possible to provide information about what hotels are on "do not patronize" lists in a context that stops short of calling for a commercial boycott. I am similarly encouraged to see our sister nonprofits like the APHA demonstrating just that.

And as a member (and now a Councilor), I remain very supportive of seeing our Association -- at the very *least* -- provide clear information to its members on the status of the hotels with which we do business. Therefore I'd like to request that conference staff investigate the possibility of ALA's reporting hotel labor dispute information to its membership, something like what the APHA does. Are there any obstacles to doing that?

thank you,

Jim Kuhn


Head of Collection Information Services

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