Labor Unions to Oppose Obama Nominee for Commerce Secretary

EXCLUSIVE: Organized labor to oppose President Obama’s nomination of Penny Pritzker for commerce secretary

National hotel workers union upset with Pritzker for labor practices at Hyatt Hotels, the source of her family’s fortune


Published: Monday, May 20, 2013, 1:22 PM
Updated: Monday, May 20, 2013, 1:57 PM

ObamaPritzkerChip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Obama’ with his nominee for commerce secretary, Chicago business executive Penny Pritzker, at the White House earlier this month. A major union announced Monday that it will oppose her nomination.

Organized labor will break its silence and oppose President Obama‘s nominee for Commerce Secretary, Chicago’s Penny Pritzker, the Daily News has learned.

The decision stems from long-standing grievances with labor practices at the Hyatt Hotels chain, a source of her family’s fortune, and despite earlier reports that unions would not raise objections to the nomination.

Donald “D” Taylor, president of the 270,000-member union of hotel and restaurant workers known as UNITE HERE, confirmed the move to The News on Monday. His opposition was spurred by his just learning that the Senate Commerce Committee was moving up its confirmation hearing for Pritzker.

The union had been led to understand that hearing would take place perhaps well after the Memorial Day weekend. But the surprise decision to move up the hearing forced the union’s hand.

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