by Michael J. Shapiro | October 04, 2018

More than 4,000 Marriott workers are now on strike, affecting hotels in Boston, San Francisco and San Jose, Calif. The work stoppage comes on the heels of the strike authorization votes held in nine U.S. cities in mid-September by members of Unite Here, the hospitality union. Strikes in more of those cities could happen imminently.
 
Boston Marriott workers elected to walk out yesterday, and those in San Jose and San Francisco have now joined them. "Today, more than 4,000 Unite Here workers are on strike against the richest, biggest and most powerful hotel company in the world to change the hospitality industry into a place where workers can still achieve the American dream," asserted D. Taylor, international president of Unite Here. "For too long, Marriott workers have struggled to get by, forced to work multiple jobs, sustaining workplace injuries and having their hours cut."

Striking Boston hotels include the Aloft Boston Seaport, the Element Boston Seaport, the Ritz-Carlton Boston Common, the Sheraton Boston, the W Boston, the Westin Boston Waterfront and the Westin Copley Place. Affected hotels in San Francisco include the Courtyard by Marriott San Francisco Downtown, the Palace Hotel, the San Francisco Marriott Marquis, the San Francisco Marriott Union Square, the St. Regis San Francisco, the W San Francisco and the Westin St. Francis Union Square. Workers at the San Jose Marriott also are on strike.

"We are disappointed that Unite Here has chosen to resort to a strike at this time," a Marriott spokesperson said. "During the strike our hotels are open, and we stand ready to provide excellent service to our guests. While we respect our associates' rights to participate in this work stoppage, we also will welcome any associate who chooses to continue to work." Concerning the walkout in Boston, the spokesperson added, "Marriott's current economic proposal matches the economic terms in the parties' last contract, which included the largest increases in the parties' bargaining history. We have not proposed any changes to our associates' health, welfare or retirement benefits."
 
Such action also could occur at any time across the San Francisco Bay at the Oakland Marriott City Center, according to Unite Here, as well as at the Westin Gaslamp Quarter San Diego. Additional at-risk properties across the United States include the Westin Book Cadillac Detroit and the Westin Seattle. In Hawaii, at-risk properties include the Moana Surfrider, a Westin Resort; the Royal Hawaiian; the Sheraton Maui Hotel; the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani; the Sheraton Waikiki, and the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort.
 
According to Unite Here, union representatives worked in earnest over the past two weeks to reach agreements, but Marriott did not budge enough on issues of workplace safety, economics and job security related to automation. Workers in more cities are likely to strike in the coming days, according to the union.