Workers strike at Marriott hotels in Boston and San Francisco


Workers strike at Marriott hotels in Boston and San Francisco

John Marion

5 October 2018

More than 100 striking workers picketed outside the Sheraton Boston on Thursday morning. The picket is part of the walkout by 1,500 workers against the Marriott International hotel chain in Boston, which began on Wednesday.

Another 2,500 workers also walked off their jobs Thursday morning at seven Marriott hotels in downtown San Francisco, calling for higher wages, workplace safety and job security.

The Sheraton Boston Hotel has more than 1,200 rooms with prices for a single room starting at over $500. A housekeeper making $21.45 per hour under the contract signed by the UNITE HERE union would have to work more than 23 hours to make this amount in gross pay.

The picket line

The Sheraton offers Marriott’s “Green Choice” program, a corporate cost-cutting measure, which under the guise of saving energy makes workers’ jobs and schedules more difficult. The hotel’s web site boasts of “4-star sophistication” and an “unbeatable location in the heart of the action.” It is within walking distance from Boston’s South End, where in 2016 the income of those in the top five percent of income earners made 15 times more than those in the bottom 20 percent, according to a Brookings Institution study.

The union called the strikes in Boston and San Francisco after more than 8,500 workers at Marriott facilities in both cities along with Oakland, San Diego, San Jose, California; Seattle, Honolulu and Detroit overwhelmingly voted for strike action. While hotel workers around the country want an expansion of the strike, UNITE HERE called the Boston and San Francisco workers out even as it works to shut down the month-long walkout by thousands of hotel workers in Chicago, which started…

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