Massachusetts Political Leaders Delegate Marriott Management, Call for Meaningful Negotiations to End Strike

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 29, 2018

Massachusetts Political Leaders Delegate Marriott Management, Call for Meaningful Negotiations to End Strike

Local politicians show strong support of striking Marriott hotel workers, out fighting for one job that’s enough to live on for almost a full month

 

Governor Baker Moves Event: In addition to today’s delegation of state and local politicians, last week Governor Charlie Baker said he would no longer hold his election night events at the Sheraton Boston. “We have been given word that Governor Charlie Baker has moved his election night operation out of the Sheraton Boston, one of the 7 Marriott-operated hotels where workers are on strike,” said UNITE HERE Local 26 President Brian Lang. “On behalf of Boston’s striking Marriott workers, I would like to thank our good friend Governor Baker for his leadership and act of solidarity with the striking workers.”

BOSTON, MA—Led by Congresswoman-elect Ayanna Pressley, and City Councilors Ed Flynn and Michelle Wu, local politicians gave Marriott management a letter urging meaningful movement at the negotiating table. Striking Marriott hotel workers have been out since October 3, sacrificing to win a new contract from the biggest and richest hotel company in the world.

Massachusetts and Boston politicians see striking Marriott hotel workers as “ambassadors for the Greater Boston area.” Their letter to President and CEO of Marriott, Arne Sorenson, states “Like all workers, they deserve to be paid a living wage and enjoy basic protections from unfair scheduling practices, sexual harassment, and other workplace abuses.” The letter continues, “We urge you to negotiate in good faith with the representing union, UNITE HERE Local 26, to reach a fair compromise that will end the strike and allow both parties to move forward amicably as soon as possible.”

Marriott is the largest and most profitable hotel chain in the world, but Boston’s Local 26 workers have been in contract negotiations since March as they fight to win basic job security, safer working conditions, and jobs that are enough to support their families.

On October 3, workers walked out at seven Marriott-operated hotels, including the Aloft Boston Seaport District, the Element Boston Seaport District, the Ritz-Carlton Boston, the Sheraton Boston, the W Hotel Boston, the Westin Boston Waterfront, and the Westin Copley Place. This is the first hotel strike in Boston’s history. The last time Local 26 workers went on strike was at Harvard in October 2016, when dining hall workers struck for 22 days and successfully settled a contract with the world’s richest university.

Marriott workers are also on strike in San Francisco, Detroit, San Jose, San Diego, Oakland, and Hawaii, totaling nearly 8,000 workers demanding that One Job Should Be Enough.

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UNITE HERE Local 26 is the hospitality workers’ union and represents more than 10,000 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 270,000 members working in the hotel, gaming, food service, and airport industries across the US and Canada. Learn more at www.unitehere.org

Contact: Nicki Morris, 857-498-2495, nmorris@local26.org

BOSTON MARRIOTT HOTEL WORKERS ON STRIKE

For Immediate Release: October 3, 2018

As of 5:00AM UNITE HERE Local 26 hotel workers are on strike at 7 Marriott hotels in Boston
Historic strike at the biggest hotel employer in Boston
Workers say: “One Job Should Be Enough” to wealthiest hotel company in the world

What: UNITE HERE Local 26 hotel workers from doormen to housekeepers are on strike at 7 downtown Boston hotels, all operated by Marriott International.
When: October 3rd, 2018, 6:00AM
Where: Sheraton Boston by Marriott, 39 Dalton St, Boston, MA 02199
Who: UNITE HERE Local 26 hotel workers including housekeepers, cooks, bartenders, bellmen, food and beverage servers, dishwashers, along with UNITE HERE Local 26 President, Brian Lang will be available for comment at the Sheraton Boston.

Why: Over 1,500 Marriott hotel workers in Boston are on strike. They have traded in their mops, trays, and uniforms for picket signs and drums. Workers walked out at seven Marriott-operated hotels today, including the Aloft Boston Seaport District, the Element Boston Seaport District, the Ritz-Carlton Boston, the Sheraton Boston, the W Hotel Boston, the Westin Boston Waterfront, and the Westin Copley Place. This is the first hotel strike in Boston’s history. The last time Local 26 workers went on strike was at Harvard in October 2016, when dining hall workers walked out for 22 days and successfully settled a contract with the world’s richest university.
Hotel workers called for a strike after Marriott failed meet workers’ modest demand that One Job Should Be Enough, despite months of negotiations.
“I am striking because I have to work three jobs to try and cover all my family’s expenses,” said Brooke Melanson, a bartender at the Westin Boston Waterfront. “Just like any parent, I want time with my children to see them grow up. We hear all the time how well Marriott is doing. We want Marriott to recognize our contribution to their success.”
Marriott workers want jobs that allow them to live in Boston. They want to afford their rent, provide for their families, and retire with dignity. They want to work in safe conditions and have job security, including a say in how new technologies are introduced to the hospitality industry.
“Marriott has forced this strike. After 5 years of record profits and more than 6 months of contract talks Marriott still doesn’t get it,” said UNITE HERE Local 26 President Brian Lang. “It’s our work that creates the great experience for the hotel guests. We are the reason that they keep coming back. Our demand is modest and fair, One Job Should be Enough.”
Local 26 is asking the public to not cross picket lines by not patronizing any Marriott hotels while where workers are on strike. UNITE HERE maintains MarriottTravelAlert.org, a service that informs Marriott hotel customers of labor disputes.
Marriott faces potential strikes in San Francisco, Detroit, Seattle, San Jose, San Diego, Oakland, and Hawaii, as thousands of workers are demanding that One Job Should Be Enough.
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UNITE HERE Local 26 is the hospitality workers’ union and represents more than 10,000 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 270,000 members working in the hotel, gaming, food service, and airport industries across the US and Canada. Learn more at www.unitehere.org.

Contact: Tiffany Ten Eyck, 313-515-1807, tteneyck@local26.org
Nicki Morris, 857-498-2495, nmorris@local26.org
Twitter: @unitehere26 #1job #MarriottStrike

Colleges of the Fens Win New Union Contract

Local 26 food service members are unstoppable! Dining services workers at Wentworth Institute of Technology, Massachusetts College of Art and Design, and Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences unanimously ratified their new union contract today. With this victory, workers on these campuses join those at Simmons College and Northeastern University in winning a $35,000 minimum annual income, more affordable health insurance, and a pension. The list of colleges and universities where workers have won this standard keeps growing.

With 96% Voting Yes, Boston Marriott Hotel Workers Vote to Strike

BOSTONMore than 1,000 UNITE HERE Local 26 hotel workers have voted to authorize a strike at eight Boston Marriott hotels—the W, Westin Copley, Westin Boston Waterfront, Renaissance, Ritz Carlton, Sheraton Boston, Aloft, and Element hotels. With overwhelming support to strike, the bargaining committee can now call a strike at any time. This news comes two days after Marriott employees of Hawaii’s UNITE HERE Local 5 authorized a strike with a 95% vote, covering 3,500 employees in Honolulu and Maui. More strike votes will follow this week in San Francisco, San Jose, and Seattle, with more to be announced.

Although Marriott is the leading hotel employer in Boston and the biggest and most profitable hotel company in the world, months of bargaining have transpired without a deal.

Hotel workers are saying that One Job Should Be Enough – to live in the city they work in, raise a family, and retire with dignity. This includes relief for housekeepers from unsafe working conditions created by the so-called “Green Choice” program, and an equal seat at the table to decide how technology, which will affect the nature of work in hotels for years to come, is introduced.

Boston hotel workers have been in negotiations with Marriott for contracts covering more than 1,800 workers since March. Contract negotiations will ultimately impact 5,000 hotel workers.

Juan Medina, a houseman at the Westin Boston Waterfront, says he is ready to strike. “I’ve given everything to this hotel and it’s still not enough. Because of the Green Choice program, housekeepers and housemen like myself are getting less work. And when we do come into work, there are not enough people on the schedule. The rooms are also harder to clean because they have not been touched in 3 days. I voted to strike today because I work for Marriott, the richest hotel company in the world and I don’t have enough to support my family, and feel safe and respected at work.”

UNITE HERE Local 26 President Brian Lang says, “Local 26 hotel workers have spoken powerfully today. Marriott has made record profits off our work and they throw pennies at us. If they don’t get off the dime there will be a strike and it will be on their hands.”

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UNITE HERE Local 26 is the hospitality workers’ union and represents 10,000 members working in the hotel, food service, gaming and airport industries in Boston and Rhode Island.  Learn more at www.local26.org

UNITE HERE represent 270,000 members working in the hotel, gaming, food service, and airport industries across the US and Canada. Learn more at www.unitehere.org.

Boston Hotel Workers Announce Strike Vote Set for September 12

Track the action at #1job
See the website: onejob.org

BOSTON, MA – Today on Labor’s traditional sleepy “day off”, 22 UNITE HERE Local 26 members and President Brian Lang risked arrested in front of the Westin Copley by participating in a peaceful sit-down civil disobedience, followed by a march to the Sheraton Boston where they announced a strike authorization vote set for September 12.  Should workers vote to authorize a strike, a strike could be called at any moment.

The civil disobedience and call for a strike vote come at the official end of a summer full of negotiations with Marriott for contracts covering 1,800 workers. Contract negotiations will ultimately impact 5,000 hotel workers and could impact almost 11,000 hotel rooms. Picket lines have continued to pop up at Marriott hotels across the city, which include the W, Westin Boston Waterfront, Aloft, Element, Renaissance, Ritz Carlton, and the Sheraton Boston.

“Our members make Boston’s hotels run and we are not afraid to shut them down if we have to,” said UNITE HERE Local 26 President Brian Lang. “It took a strike at Harvard. It almost took a strike at Northeastern. These days, workers aren’t afraid of a little chaos if that’s what it takes to get executives to listen. Marriott is the richest hotel company on the planet yet they’re offering hotel workers crumbs. Marriott seems to have forgotten who makes them their billions. We are here to remind them,” he said.

All summer Marriott workers have been calling on their employer to use their leadership in the global hotel industry to do more for hotel workers. Worldwide, hotel workers work multiple jobs and struggle to live in the cities where they work, raise their families, and retire with dignity and security. Workers have told Marriott for months: One Job Should Be Enough.

Carlos Da Veiga has worked as a houseman at the Sheraton Boston for more than 20 years. “I have lived in Dorchester for 25 years, but with rising housing costs, my family and I are worried we will not be able to remain much longer. The hotel industry is raking in cash here in Boston and around the world, so I know Marriott can provide a higher standard for us. We are ready to do whatever it takes, including a strike.”

In addition to demanding jobs that help workers survive spiraling housing and living costs, workers have demanded Marriott adopt innovative technology that keeps workers and their jobs safe, and offer stronger protections for safety at work.

Sorinelda Pabon, Local 26 housekeeper at the Westin Boston Waterfront for 9 years says she will vote to strike to get the company to do something about the “green choice” program that pays guests points for denying housekeeping, as reported in the Boston Globe“I lay with the phone next to my pillow. I don’t know the next time I will be called in for work and no longer have a set schedule. I am working fewer hours, but I also have no way to schedule appointments or make time for my family. I am voting to strike because I want Marriott executives to understand that they are harming housekeepers like me with this program.”

UNITE HERE members and their service have helped propel Marriott to reach an astounding $42 billion market capitalization with 1.2 million rooms worldwide.

Other Marriott worker actions today included marches, rallies and civil disobedience in Honolulu, San Francisco, Seattle, San Diego, and Baltimore in efforts to reach the top executives of the company.

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UNITE HERE Local 26 is the hospitality workers’ union and represents over 10,000 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 270,000 members working in the hotel, gaming, food service, and airport industries across the US and Canada. Learn more at www.unitehere.org.