Strike Begins at Battery Wharf Hotel
Workers walk out as negotiations reach breaking point
BOSTON, MA — Room attendants, bellmen, cooks, and front desk agents walked off the job at the Battery Wharf Hotel. After a year and a half of negotiations, UNITE HERE Local 26 Battery Wharf Hotel workers grabbed picket signs, shouting “No Contract, No Peace!”
UNITE HERE Local 26 and the Battery Wharf Hotel have been in negotiations since March 2018.
Battery Wharf has not agreed to contract language protecting women from sexual harassment and assault. The hotel refuses to include UNITE HERE Local 26’s immigration language that upholds the security and safety of union hotel workers. And finally, they refuse to keep language that seeks to correct the historical discrimination of African-American workers in the hotel industry, established in 2006.
“My rent has gone up by a third. I’ve been holding off on getting a car for my family until we got a raise. Everything is expensive and my family can’t wait. We are ready to fight,” said Fatoumata Bah, Battery Wharf room attendant for 7 years. “This is our city and these owners are going to learn that one way or another.”
Battery Wharf Hotel owners want to eliminate contract language ensuring the right to a fair schedule, job security, affordable family healthcare, yearly wage increases, and a pension.
“The Battery Wharf Hotel thinks it doesn’t need to give protections to women, immigrants and African-Americans. The hotel thinks it can get around providing good jobs in Boston. When we said one job should be enough for every hotel worker in Boston, we meant it,” said Brian Lang, the President of UNITE HERE Local 26.
The last strike of hotel workers in Boston began on October 3, 2018 when Local 26 workers walked out at seven Marriott-operated hotels. The strike lasted 46 days, securing historic gains in the hotel industry.
UNITE HERE Local 26 is the hospitality workers’ union and represents more than 12,000 members working in the hotel, food service, and airport industries in Boston and Rhode Island. Learn more at www.local26.org
UNITE HERE represents over 300,000 members working in the hotel, gaming, food service, and airport industries across the US and Canada. Learn more at www.unitehere.org.