The Stand

Westin Hotel (Marriott) workers to take strike vote on Friday

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The following is from UNITE HERE Local 8:

SEATTLE (Sept. 11, 2018) — Workers at the Westin Seattle announced Monday that they will be holding a strike vote against Marriott this Friday, Sept. 14. Their announcement comes a week after UNITE HERE hotel workers at 20 hotels across four cities announced their own votes.

Strike votes now scheduled for this week cover more than 8,000 union UNITE HERE workers throughout twenty-one hotels in Seattle, San Francisco, Waikiki, Maui, and Boston, and come on the heels of mass Labor Day demonstrations by UNITE HERE Marriott workers in eight cities across the country — including more than 100 workers arrested in Seattle and other cities for staging acts of civil disobedience outside Marriott hotels to protest Marriott’s lack of movement at the bargaining table on key issues in those cities.

The strike votes begin on Sept. 10, as 3,500 UNITE HERE Local 5 Waikiki and Maui Marriott workers in Hawai’i will vote on striking six major Marriott properties between the two cities. The votes continue Sept. 12, as 1,800 UNITE HERE Local 26 Marriott workers in Boston will hold their strike votes. The next day, Sept. 13, there will be 2,500 UNITE HERE Local 2 Marriott workers in San Francisco voting whether to strike seven major Marriotts in their city. Almost four hundred Local 8 members in Seattle will follow on Sept. 14.

“My wife and I both work full-time at the Westin, but still I have to work a second job just to pay my bills,” said Mohamed Faik, a cook at the Westin Seattle. “My sons are getting older and I am missing important time with them. This company doesn’t respect us. It’s time to strike for respect and for my family’s future.”

UNITE HERE represents more than 20,000 Marriott hotel workers across North America, of whom more than 12,000 have had their contracts expire and are locked in ongoing negotiations. Three of the most crucial points of disagreement include the need for Marriott to be a leader in the hospitality industry, and recognize their role as the largest and most profitable hotel company in the world, by offering workers jobs that are enough for them to live on. Additionally, workers are fighting for improved workplace safety, particularly around unsafe workloads and strenuous physical labor created by the so-called “Green Choice” program, and pioneering job protections around technology and innovation in the hospitality industry.

“Across North America, union workers are ready to fight back against a rigged economy that has left working-class families behind for too long now,” said D. Taylor, international president of UNITE HERE. “UNITE HERE has a proud tradition of refusing to take concessionary contracts and changing lives around the world by raising the standards for union and non-union hospitality workers. Our members are proud of the exceptional guest service they provide the people who stay in our hotels, but 8,000 Marriott workers are ready and prepared to strike to secure their fair share from a highly profitable company receiving major tax handouts from Donald Trump while workers struggle to get by.” In the coming weeks, hotel workers in additional cities will be announcing dates of more planned strike votes against Marriott.

UNITE HERE Local 8 is the hospitality workers’ union of the Pacific Northwest and represents over 5,000 members working in the hotel, food service, and airport industries in Washington and Oregon, including 400 Marriott workers at the Westin Seattle. Learn more at www.unitehere8.org.

 

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