Chicago Hotel Workers Strike Grows, While Votes Loom in Other Cities

Workers striking in Chicago, photograph courtesy of Unite Here

Employees of the Cambria Chicago Magnificent Mile, a 216-room boutique property, have joined Chicago's citywide hotel-workers strike, now in its fifth day. The strike now affects 26 hotels in downtown Chicago, including many convention hotels, and shows no signs of slowing, according to Unite Here Local 1, the union representing the city's hospitality workers.

Contracts expired Aug. 31 for the employees of 30 Chicago hotels, thousands of which are now on the picket line. "Striking hotel workers deserve year-round health insurance, sick days to see a doctor, workloads that keep them healthy and wages that keep up with the cost of raising a family," noted a union spokesperson in a press release.

The Chicago work stoppage comes amidst the threat of strikes at various Marriott properties in four major destinations across the United States. According to Unite Here, 7,800 Marriott employees will be holding strike votes this week. Local 5 hotel workers, from six Marriott-operated properties in Honolulu and Maui, voted yesterday to authorize a strike with respect to contracts covering 3,500 workers. That strike could be called at any moment.

The next vote will be held tomorrow, Sept. 12, for 1,800 Marriott workers in Boston. On Sept. 13, 2,500 San Francisco Marriott employees will hold their vote.

Hotels facing the threat of strike in Hawaii include:
Waikiki Beach Marriott
Sheraton Waikiki
The Royal Hawaiian
Westin Moana Surfrider
Sheraton Princess Kailuani
Sheraton Maui

Workers are currently striking at these Chicago hotels:
Ambassador Chicago
Cambria Magnificent Mile
Crowne Plaza Hotel Chicago-Metro
Doubletree Chicago Magnificent Mile
Drake Hotel
Hampton Inn/Homewood Suites Magnificent Mile
Hilton Chicago
Holiday Inn Mart Plaza
Hotel Blake
Hyatt Regency Chicago
Hyatt Regency McCormick Place
Inn of Chicago
JW Marriott
Kimpton Hotel Allegro
Kimpton Hotel Palomar
Kinzie Hotel
Millennium Knickerbocker
Palmer House
Ritz-Carlton Chicago
Sheraton Grand Chicago
W Chicago City Center
W Chicago Lakeshore
Warwick Allerton
Westin Michigan Ave
Westin River North
Wyndham Grand

Contracts have expired at the following Chicago hotels, which could join the strike at any time:
Fairmont Chicago
Hotel Raffaello
Park Hyatt Chicago
Tremont Chicago Hotel at Magnificent Mile

Click here to find the full, updated list.