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****  PRESS RELEASE  ****

 - For Immediate Release & Distribution  -


CHICAGO MUSLIM, JEWISH LEADERS JOIN
IN BACKING CHICAGO HOTEL WORKERS


August 17, 2006

Key Religious Leaders Launch Coalition with Chicago Hotel Workers (UNITE HERE), Crucial support comes on eve of Hilton, Hyatt strike votes

(Chicago, IL 8/17/2006) - The Chicago office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations today formally announced its joining the launching of a coalition supporting Chicago Hotel Workers in a breakfast ceremony at the signature room, tomorrow morning.

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; Imam Kifah Mustafa of the Mosque Foundation; and hotel workers

Why:
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.

"Working to achieve social justice is crucial to securing peace and prosperity in any society," said Ahmed Rehab, Executive Director of CAIR-Chicago. "It is heartwarming to see so many leaders come across the religious divide to unite on the common values of their respective faiths."

"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.

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

When: Friday, August 18, 9:00 am

Contact: Ahmed Rehab, CAIR-Chicago, (312) 212-1520 or (847) 971-3963 or director@cairchicago.org


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