The International Mister Leather (IML) is an international conference and contest of leathermen held annually in May since 1979 in Chicago, Illinois. which spans several days, and includes the International Mister Leather competition, as well as other events, such as speakers, socials, themed dance parties and a leather market.
The conference scheduled for May 25 – May 28, 2012 and is to be held at the Hyatt Regency Chicago but the LGBT Community and IML are finding themselves in the middle of a controversy because hotel workers have been calling for a boycott of Hyatt properties in Chicago for over a year because union workers have been working without a contract for almost two years.
According to UNITE HERE, workers could lose their health benefits at the end of February if contract negotiations do not wrap up. UNITE HERE has already settled contracts with other local hotels.
Some LGBT organizers have accused IML of crossing a picket line, while IML organizers insist that they must abide by their three-year contract with the hotel and that no other available hotel in the Chicago area is large enough to host the event.
Hotel workers have been calling for a boycott of Hyatt properties in Chicago for over a year and this will be the 2nd time that IML will be ignoring the boycott.
Note to the IML: Crossing Union picket lines is not the way to get Unions on board with Equality issues. Chicago is a huge town. Surely there is another venue that can be used. Perhaps rent out The World Famous Bijou Theatre. (<—- NWSF) Think of the set-up time that will be saved since the slings and gloryholes are already there.