Workers began striking last week, when about 1,500 hotel housekeepers, bartenders, and door attendants in Boston walked off the job at seven Marriott hotels. Now the number of workers on strike has reached nearly 8,000 in seven other cities.
The largest strikes are in Boston, San Francisco and Hawaii. The cities of Oahu and Maui in Hawaii have 2,700 workers on strike, San Francisco has 2,500 and Boston has 1,800. The other affected cities are: San Diego, Oakland, San Jose and Detroit. Almost two dozen hotels have been affected.
Workers are asking for fair wages, better sexual harassment protections, more secure schedules, and pregnancy accommodations. The workers are also asking to be involved in discussions over how automation is adopted, so they can have a voice in how that technology can be supportive of workers rather than disruptive.
On Friday, Police arrested approximately 50 hotel workers during a march in San Francisco. More than 1,000 striking workers from San Francisco and Oakland Marriott hotels participated in the march. Protesters picketed on the sidewalk, taking up the entire length of the block, while approximately 50 sat down in the middle of the street blocking traffic in an act of civil disobedience.
Anand Singh, president of UNITE HERE Local 2, and Wei-Ling Huber, president of Local 2850 in Oakland, were among those arrested.
“After being on strike for one week and not seeing any movement from the company, we’re ready to step it up and show them how serious we are,” Singh said. His union represents nearly 2,500 Marriott workers in the City.
Photo: “Strike at the Richmond Sheraton Hotel” by Caelie_Frampton is licensed under CC BY 2.0