[UPDATED] Will Seane Corn and MC Yogi “Scab it up” This Weekend? /// SF Yoga Journal Conference Snubs Workers Tired of Lifting Heavy Shiz

[UPDATE: “yoga journal & seane corn issue unofficial statements on yoga conference, hyatt boycott]

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Gotta give props to It’s All Yoga, Baby for being the only yoga blog on the scene (I think, right? I mean, who else is writing on this?) to push the issues surrounding the SF Yoga Journal Conference snub of the proposed boycott by overworked Hyatt employees known as UniteHere. As it stands the SF Yoga Journal Conference is going ahead this weekend with its celebration of itself, leaving social justice-minded closet communist yoga practitioners scratching their ready-to-pop poli-sci craniums.

SF Hyatt Regency Grand Ballroom

SF Hyatt Regency Grand Ballroom

What makes this confluence of events even sweeter—creating what one might consider a “perfect storm” of ironies and hypocrisies—is that, as IAYB states, both Seane Corn and MC Yogi, two highly visible and outspoken yoga “activists,” will have to essentially cross the picket line (on 1/17/12)—you know, “scab it up”—in order to attend the event. And, it is at this point that I take a moment to pray to the one true God: Please, God. In the name of all that is good. Let their be an actual picket line and let MC Yogi and Seane Corn have to cross it. So mote it be.

Now, according to a comment left on the IAYB website by YJ’s Communications Director & Managing Editor (International Editions), Dayna Macy:

“The hotel and its workers have reached agreements on wages and benefits but other issues including union membership voting rules across the Hyatt hotel chain remain unresolved.”

The Babarazzi attempted to contact UniteHere to get confirmation on the status of the worker’s relationship to the hotel and clarify the “voting rules” in question, but have yet not heard back.

SF Hyatt Regency "Eclipse" Restaurant

SF Hyatt Regency “Eclipse” Restaurant

It should also be mentioned that the boycott is being proposed not simply because of infractions incurred at the San Francisco Hyatt Regency, which is itself unionized, but rather as a response to a wide array of grievances held against Hyatt hotels in general.

In case you’re one of those union-hatin’ conservative libertarians out there, and believe me, unions aren’t by default untouchable and amazing (leftist critique here and general critique here), back in August of 2012 Truthout.org ran a piece discussing how broad the Hyatt boycott really was, and how the union aspect was really only one piece of the puzzle.

“Recognizing that a drive against a major multinational corporation would require broad support, both domestically and internationally, the union rallied an unusually large number of allies to aid in the campaign. Outside of other unions, the Hyatt boycott has drawn endorsements from the National Organization of Women (NOW), the Feminist Majority Foundation, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, City Life/Vida Urbana, National People’s Action, the California Council of Churches, the Sierra Club and many others.”

LGBTQQIAAP2S in the house?! Damn. Is there anything they/we/shim/InI can’t do?!

Now, I’m not saying that I want you to run out and put me on every email list advertising local Wobblie hootenannies (a word with a lovely history) around the country (though it sounds fantastic). That said, I’m always interested in knowing more about the ways in which corporations attempt to railroad that whole “Right to Assemble” clause in our lovely Constitution (here and here). Pesky thing that.

SF Hyatt Regency Guinness Book of World Records-approved "world's largest atrium lobby"

SF Hyatt Regency Guinness Book of World Records-approved “world’s largest atrium lobby”

The real question is, however, who do you think is gonna be the bigger, more guilt-ridden, tipper this weekend? Will it be Ms. Corn or Mr. Yogi? We The Babarazzi say, “Both y’all better be tippin’ yr activist rumps off all muthafuggin’ weekend. Straight up.

But, the even realer real question is, when the protesters start gettin’ all rowdy, will we be seeing this, all-black clad “Protest Edition™” Seane Corn:

seane-corn-occupywallst-speech

Or, this, more “casual Fridays” Seane Corn:

16ace3cbaaba4e6380cf93a7dab9f716_i

Or, are they one and the same?

29 comments

  1. Chai Fan

    “Please, God. In the name of all that is good. Let their be an actual picket line and let MC Yogi and Seane Corn have to cross it. ” And when this happens, let there also be someone there to get really good photo and video documentation of it??

  2. Seane

    Would you remove the stupid ads that appear at the end of your posts? Annoying and reminds me of Elephant Urinal. Thank you.

  3. Yoga_Dude

    Hyatt is run by the Pritzker family and as most know, Penny Pritzker was the President’s national finance chairperson. No matter your political persuasion, thems that have work very hard to keep as much of it as possible. The 1%er world view holds more weight with me than Republicans are X and Democrats are NOT(X) philosophy.

  4. Garuda

    Crossing a picket line never looked so good as in your new line of Sean Corne/ MC Yogi’s “Hip Hop Flip Flops”. Bedazzle your mat mates as you shreee past the common people who actually paid money to attend the feelgood hand job of the season. Don’t forget to have your posse tip the ‘help’ along the way but never ever touch that icky money with your own hands. No, use our new ‘Yoga Journal Antiseptic Body Spray’. Keep the Glitter/ Lose the Gutter. Nothing says humility like a red carpet.

  5. I hope none of them take the back garage or underground entrance and “skip” the picket line, undetected.
    First the Republican Convention and now this – good one Seane. Your next stop should be the The Bill O’Reilly show and try to show the benefits of yoga to ole’ Bill.

  6. The P

    Here’s my fantasy .. a bunch of yoga moles crash the YJ workshops with protest signs cleverly hidden under their yoga mats and pull a Norma Rae at an appropriate moment. Signs are customized for the teachers such as “Off the Mat and across the Picket Line!”, “Be the change .. in words not actions!”. Maybe they could do a “mic check” chanting thing, too, ala Occupy.

    O.K., that’s not realistic (and maybe not legal?) but it is a fun to dream about

  7. Yoga_Dude

    “Off the Mat and across the Picket Line!”

    magnificent! you should grab that URL and start a spoof site…

  8. jorge

    it would be really interesting to get someone to ask one or both of them specifically how they feel about the fact that they are essentially stepping on the heads of people who have to work hard every day just to get by and then using those people as a platform from which to speak about taking care of each other and working against injustice in the world? you’d have to figure out how to sneak in to the conference first, probably not too hard really.

    maybe a rap career is in order for me? already have at least one sucka MC i could start a feud with. my first single would be: MC Bogi-union bustin’ is discustin’. it kinda rhymes.

    • Garuda

      YOGA JOURNAL’S RESPONSE TO THE OUTCRY:”Yoga Journal has not ignored this issue. We have thought carefully about it and have decided to honor our longstanding contract and the commitments we’ve made to our conference presenters and attendees, as well as the workers at this specific hotel who depend on business for their livelihood.”
      In Other Words: We heard you but we are not listening, Now get back to work Pancho or we will get you fired.

  9. Greenpoint

    I’m confused, why is this surprising? Has anyone looked (no reading! you’ve been warned) at a YJ mag recently?

    • It’s not surprising. It is, though, still extremely gross and unsettling. Maybe less so if you’ve looked at a YJ mag recently and built up some immunity.

  10. The P

    Looks like Seane directly addressed the situation on her Facebook page. The breach of contract issue had crossed my mind and it’s no small thing. I am glad she made a clear statement on the facts and plans not to cross the picket line as well as amend her future contracts so she’s not in a rock/hard place situation.

    M.C. Yogi? The rest of the teachers?? Gonna step up and make a statement?

  11. All of these folks are going to be there based on the conference webpage.
    http://www.yjevents.com/sf/index.php
    I’m not a fan of any of them but I’d be curious to see if any of them did address/mention these grievances either on FB or Twitter?

    Jane Austin, Baron Baptiste, Baxter Bell, Kathryn Budig, Deborah Burkman, Annie Carpenter, Jnani Chapman, Deepak Chopra, Seane Corn, Jason Crandell, Nikki Estrada, Maty Ezraty, Bo Forbes, Ana Forrest, Richard Freeman, Amanda Giacomini, Julie Gudmestad, Kate Holcombe, Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa, Gurushabd Singh Khalsa, Eric Kipp, Gary Kraftsow, Judith Hanson Lasater, Cyndi Lee, Les Leventhal, Tias Little, Janet MacLeod, Giselle Mari, Vinnie Marino, Kelly McGonigal, Richard Miller, Dharma Mittra, Eric Monkhouse, Eric Paskel, Shiva Rea, Wesleigh Roeca, Richard Rosen, Desiree Rumbaugh, Jenny Sauer-Klein, Eric Shaw, Sianna Sherman, Jeremy Simon, David Swenson, Jasmine Tarkeshi, Mas Vidal, Rusty Wells, Colleen Saidman Yee, Rodney Yee, MC Yogi

    • The P

      Seane Corn made a statement on her Facebook page as a result of multiple inquiries from people on the issue. Perhaps we should start an email campaign to put pressure on the teachers to make formal statements. The workshop teachers are the bread and butter of these conferences, if they stand together YJ will have to step up or lose money. I do get that the workshop teachers are under contract for the upcoming conference and to breach that contract at this point could cost a big chunk of money. But they do have power to demand change for the future but that won’t happen by staying silent and flying under the radar.

      • I’m with you on that one. I think an email campaign and well as asking them point-blank on their social media pages might budge things a little, I think if enough people bug them, they can’t remain quiet for too long.

  12. Namastellen

    I don’t understand her statement completely. She is staying at another hotel which I am sure YJ is happy to pay for, but probably isn’t offering this option to most people. She won’t be out any money for that choice. She said she is teaching so as not to breach, but said she won’t cross a picket line. I’m pretty sure there will be a picket line. Is she narrowly defining ” picket line,” going in another way, or breaching?

    • Yoga Whelp

      As American yoga continues to evolve into global stress management for marginalized workers and the debt-ridden middle class, a workshop in “Yogic Dissembling” could prove most useful! Perhaps JAMA could hire Seane Corn to design the program and tailor it to the new generation of female executives overseeing the destruction of our livelihoods. Do you think the workers in Southeast Asia that make the “Lucy Active Wear” clothing that Corn does her yoga T & A for are decently paid — let alone unionized?

      • Yoga Whelp

        Oh hell, there I go branding American females again! Listen, I was raised by feminists, and I know that women “hold up half the sky”. But do they have to charge a fee?

  13. Yoga Journal’s San Francisco conference will be held at the Hyatt Regency Embarcadero, January 17-21. We are aware of information being distributed regarding labor disputes with the hotel chain. We have researched the matter fully and come to understand that the workers at the Hyatt in San Francisco are not on strike. There is, however, an ongoing labor management dispute between the Hyatt Corporation and union organization UniteHere. The hotel and its workers have reached agreements on wages and benefits but other issues, including those around union membership voting rules across the Hyatt hotel chain, remain unresolved.

    Though the workers at the Hyatt in San Francisco are not on strike, UniteHere has reached out to many organizations holding events at the hotel and urged them to change their plans.

    Weighing other possible alternatives, Yoga Journal has looked into moving the conference from the Hyatt, which has hosted the event for 10 years, but no other hotel in the city can accommodate the large number of attendees on or around the scheduled conference dates. We will continue to weigh other options for the future.

    After careful examination and discussion, Yoga Journal has decided to honor its contract and the commitments made to our conference presenters, attendees, and to the workers whose livelihoods depend on hotel business. We support the negotiations between the Hyatt and its unions and hopes that the remaining issues are resolved fairly and quickly.

    For more information:

    The Hyatt Corporation Website: hyattworkplace.com
    The UniteHere website:unitehere11.org andhotelworkersrising.com

    • Yoga Whelp

      Miss Macy –

      Thanks for taking this on by posting. I can’t speak for anyone but myself, but YJ could easily have used its own leverage to insist that Hyatt settle with the workers expeditiously. Hyatt cannot afford to lose the business of a magazine that caters to as many “influentials as YJ does.

      You’ve known about this for weeks, if not months. It’s simple: you pick up the phone, and tell Hyatt management you’re joining the public boycott unless they settle by such and such date.

      A lot of people on the outside of this probably don’t realize what the issues actually are. So I encourage people to read up on the actual nature of the dispute. One example: Latina housekeepers are subject to what amounts to a “speed up” and are being injured at the twice the rate of non-Latinas — and the Hyatt chain has the worst injury record of any hotel.

      The Unite union folks have posted various studies of the injuries that are worth reviewing. These are serious peer-reviewed academic studies, not the pseudo-science the yoga industry and its lackeys do to justify why yoga can cure the common cold, brain cancer, and so many other health myths just to garner attention and make more money.

      Here’s the summary of the Latina household worker injury rate, and its causes —
      http://www.hotelworkersrising.org/media/latina_housekeeper_injury_study_leaflet.pdf

      So, all you beautiful yoga sisters who just love to travel to far-flung tropical paradises to shoot movies, take in the sun, and do other high-profile “seva” or “karma service” work that’s actually just PR for your yoga business — here’s your challenge:

      You’re in America, and you’re already transgressing against your injured sisters who have asked you to boycott Hyatt, contract or no contract. So, what are you going to do? Play dumb? You’re already doing that. You’re American yoga teachers after all.

      And Yoga Journal, you could easily devote space to this issue in the March edition of your magazine, right? And develop an actual labor rights policy to guide you in the future? Because you say you care so much.

      And those few yogis who are really cool – uh, talk about your 1% – you might even offer free yoga therapy to workers who want and need it?. Talk to the unions, and see what you can do to help. Assuming, of course, there’s anything you teach that’s actually therapeutic for the masses.

      (And no, you don’t get to post photos at Elephant ournal or Yoga Dork and start an entirely new campaign of self-entitled, self-congratulatory, self-aggrandizement. Sorry).

      Humble service. Try it! It’s not giddy fun, but it satisfies in ways you might find surprising. Let’s Shakti proud – for a change.

      Namaste
      Stewart J. Lawrence

      • Garuda

        The saddest part for me is that a teacher that I admire(d) is presenting at this event. As much as I admire his body of work, Dharma Mittra has lost a student in me. Each and every premier teacher had / has an opportunity to stand up to YJ and use their individual leverage collectively to find a solution to Hyatt’s very fixable problem.

      • The P

        Totally on point, Stewart, and knocking it out of the park. Thank you.

      • the moment already came

        Aw, snap, Stewart J! I’m a longtime listener, first-time caller. And I have to say that this is a thoroughly savory comment. My compliments to the chef.

        See, often when you write, there’s this base layer of delicious, nutritious thought, like an al dente pasta. But then you usually go and drop all these awkward, faux-lascivious quips about lady-parts onto it, like a bunch of turd-meatballs. And the whole thing just turns my stomach a bit.

        But then you serve up something like this and I think, “Well, I’m just going to have to hold my nose and eat around the crap, because this guy is really cooking something.” It’s scrumptious.

        • Yoga Whelp

          Sounds like our “Veggie Stew” would be more to your liking. I’ll try to arrange for a separate menu. — The Management

  14. Linda-Sama

    how long has this labor dispute been going on? and how long has registration been open for the Conference? sorry if I am missing something but why is the onus on the presenters to step up? how about calling out the attendees to protest via their crystal encrusted yoga purses and not attend. probably too late now but…..just askin’.

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