Recall Legislation to be Introduced in Front of Boston’s Worst Offender on Jobs Crisis

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 18, 2021
Contact:  Nicki Morris, 857-498-2495, nmorris@local26.org
Twitter: @unitehere26

Press Conference and Picket Line: Recall Legislation to be
Introduced in Front of Boston’s Worst Offender on Jobs Crisis

UNITE HERE Local 26 joins Senator Joe Boncore, former Marriott Copley
employees fired in middle of pandemic, to back recall legislation

What: After months of mass firings in the hospitality industry, UNITE HERE Local 26 called
March 22, Massachusetts’ Reopening Day according to Governor Charlie Baker, the deadline for
Boston hotels to publicly state that they planned to retain their furloughed workers. Not a
single hotel stepped forward to state their plan to recall their workers. Over the past year,
thousands of hotel workers sat at home, waiting for the phone to ring. In cases like the Marriott
Copley and the Revere Hotel, workers there have been permanently fired. Many feel utterly
betrayed, their decades of service and loyalty suddenly amounting to nothing. Because hotels
refuse to do the right thing on their own, the Hotel Comeback Bill is being introduced in the
Massachusetts House and Senate. The legislation seeks to get the hotel industry back on track
by allowing experienced workers to return to work once the COVID crisis is over.

At the Marriott Copley, after surviving on employment since March due to the COVID-19
pandemic, Marriott Copley workers were shocked and horrified to learn their furlough was
permanent. In September, over 230 Marriott Copley workers were fired. They were not offered
the chance to return to work when the crisis was over, but instead told they could reapply,
losing decades of service they put into Marriott. To add insult to injury, many fired workers
were offered less than half of the severance pay they had expected after years of loyalty and
hard work due to a sudden change in policy. Although the Marriott Copley workers are not
union members, UNITE HERE Local 26 is supporting them in their fight for just treatment.

When: Tuesday, March 23, 2021 from 10:00am-11:30am
Where: Marriott Copley Place, 110 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02116
Who: Recently fired Marriott Copley hotel workers, UNITE HERE Local 26 President Carlos
Aramayo, Massachusetts Senator Joe Boncore
Note: Interviews available by phone, and after the event over Skype, and Zoom

Why: With over 8,000 union and nonunion Boston hotel workers unemployed, the members of
UNITE HERE Local 26 are proud to be working with Senate Joe Boncore and Representative
Marjorie Decker to provide some peace of mind for thousands of regional hotel workers. With
protections in place, Massachusetts could allow hotel workers to return to their positions once
the COVID-19 crisis is over, if and when their positions return.
Similar policies have gone into effect in several California cities, including Los Angeles, San
Francisco, San Diego, Oakland, and Philadelphia. Recently, Providence, Rhode Island became
the first East Coast city to provide such protections for hospitality workers.

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UNITE HERE Local 26 is the hospitality workers’ union and represents over 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.

Boston Marriott Copley Boycott Press

How it started (Nov-Dec 2020):
We officially launch the boycott and start reaching out to customers (Ongoing):

Laid-off Marriott Copley workers protest outside hotel

Workers who recently lost their jobs at the Boston Marriott Copley Place demonstrated in front of the hotel Friday, demanding that management provide full severance pay and reinstate them when business returns. The hotel, the second largest in Boston, reopened in August and laid off about half its staff — 230 workers and 30 managers — in September, according to Unite Here Local 26, the hospitality workers union that has been helping the non-union workers. Workers’ severance pay was capped at 10 weeks, instead of the previous 26, and they were told they could reapply for their jobs as new employees when demand rises.

Marriott Copley general manager Alan Smith, who previously noted that the hotel has experienced “unprecedented business impact,” told the Globe: “We respect the right to demonstrate.”

Many hotels have reopened around Boston, but business is bleak. Occupancy rates are hovering around 25 percent on average, and an estimated 8,000 hotel workers are still unemployed.


Katie Johnston can be reached at katie.johnston@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @ktkjohnston.

Housing Assistance for Massachusetts and Rhode Island

MA and RI Housing Assistance:

Massachusetts And Rhode Island residents dealing with housing issues can call the 2-1-1 information hotline to find housing resources.

Massachusetts residents can also access resources here: mass.gov/CovidHousingHelp and visit the frequently asked questions website here, and see the fact sheet here

Rhode Island residents can access housing assistance resources here: http://www.economicprogressri.org/index.php/rental-assistance/

 

CDC Moratorium

Through December, the CDC moratorium will prevent evictions for non-payment for qualified tenants who submit a written declaration to their landlord. Courts will accept filings and process cases, and may enter judgments but will not issue an order of execution (the court order that allows a landlord to evict a tenant) until after the expiration of the CDC order. Protection is limited to households who meet certain income and vulnerability criteria. Declaration may be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/declaration-form.pdf

Notice Regarding Qualification for Union Legal Benefit

Beginning September 1st, 2020, the Legal Plan through Regan Associates will only be available to members who have a minimum of 80 hours of fund contributions credited to the month they are seeking benefit.

This means that, in order to qualify for benefits in September, a member needs to have worked a minimum of 80 hours in June. To qualify for benefits in October, a member needs to have worked a minimum of 80 hours in July.

Regan and Associates have committed to finishing any cases where they have already made a court appearance, regardless of the member’s qualification for benefits.