US hotel workers continue strikes in eight cities
13 October 2018
Walkouts by US hotel workers continued into the weekend with about 7,700 workers at Marriott hotels in eight US cities on strike over largely economic issues as well as job security.
The determination of workers to fight is being fueled by poverty level wages and totally inadequate health care. Marriott, the most profitable US hotel chain, has 850 company managed hotels in the US and Canada. It has some 140,000 employees in the US.
The largest walkouts are currently taking place in Hawaii, Boston and San Francisco. There are some 2,700 workers on strike on the islands of Maui and Oahu with 2,500 in San Francisco and another 1,800 in Boston. Strikes are also taking place in Detroit, San Jose, Oakland and San Diego.
The walkout in Hawaii began Monday, with Marriott Workers at five properties including The Sheraton Waikiki, The Royal Hawaiian, Westin Moana Surfrider, Sheraton Princess Kaiulani, and Sheraton Maui taking strike action.
The hotel workers, members of UNITE HERE, have been called out by the union in a series of piecemeal, largely uncoordinated strikes without a clearly stated set of demands. While thousands of workers have been called out on strike, thousands more Marriott workers as well as workers at other hotel chains are continuing on the job, pumping out profits for the owners.
Walkouts by some 5,000 workers began in September at major hotels in Chicago including the Marriott, Hilton and Hyatt. Since that time UNITE HERE has wound down the strikes in Chicago, accepting a series of inadequate settlements in an attempt to prevent the fight of hotel workers from expanding into a larger movement of the working class.