Boston Magazine: Billy Bragg Will Headline the “Largest Rally” Yet for Striking Battery Wharf Hotel Workers

“The strike at the Battery Wharf Hotel goes to the very heart of the problems in our society,” Bragg says. “Working people feel they no longer have any agency over their lives. The precarious nature of the employment market has made it harder to afford housing and raise a family. The remedy to this situation is to give people security in their employment. Instead, employers at the Battery Wharf Hotel in Boston are seeking to freeze wages, end union medical coverage and halt pension contributions.”

Boston Globe: Let’s see now, just what are those outrageous demands of the striking Battery Wharf Hotel workers?

These workers may think that they deserve regular raises, job security, and a reasonable workload. Maybe they want good health care so that they can care for their families, and a secure retirement after a lifetime of hard work.

Boston Globe: Tensions mount as Battery Wharf Hotel strike continues

As the Battery Wharf Hotel strike stretches into its fourth week, with workers picketing 12 hours a day and negotiations going nowhere, tensions are ramping up.

The union is looking into a pair of Canadian consultants it thinks are behind a “Draconian” contract proposal intended to drive down labor costs, which it said could put the hotel in a better position to be sold and potentially benefit those same consultants.

Battery Wharf hotel workers poised to strike

Boston Globe—Following the Marriott strike last fall, nearly every union hotel in and around Boston has agreed to adopt the same contract brokered with the hospitality giant, offering a broad array of enhanced benefits, from better wages and pensions to protections for immigrant workers and pregnant women.

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46-Day Boston Marriott Hotel Strike is Over

UNITE HERE Local 26 hotel workers ratify historic agreement with Marriott and will return to work

Boston, MA—The all-seasons strike of Boston hotel workers is over after strikers overwhelmingly voted to ratify a new contract with Marriott on Saturday. The 46-day strike, which was the longest and largest hotel worker strike in Boston’s history, led to the richest and most economically progressive contract in Local 26 history.

Hotel workers rallied around the slogan “One Job Should Be Enough” and called on Marriott, the wealthiest and largest hotel corporation in the world, to show leadership in providing more stable and secure jobs for hotel workers. Today’s agreement provides historic job security protections along with a wage and benefits package that significantly raises the standard for hotel workers struggling to survive in one of the most expensive cities in the U.S.

UNITE HERE Local 26 President Brian Lang said:

“This victory is a testament to our members’ strength and tenacity. Hotel workers stood strong for more than six weeks in the wind, the rain, and the snow, up against the largest hotel company in the world. It was a hard fought victory, but in the end Marriott showed leadership and listened to our members’ concerns. From Day 1, we’ve encouraged Marriott to use their leadership in the hotel industry to make jobs in their hotels enough to live on, and today’s settlement goes a long way for Boston workers. Now we expect the rest of the hotel industry to follow that leadership and settle new agreements for the thousands of hotel workers with expired contracts across Boston and Cambridge.”

Hotel workers gained the support of Bostonians whose donations allowed strikers to run a strike assistance program to feed and support the most vulnerable strikers as rent and utilities became due. Strikers were also buoyed by customers and influencers who refused to cross picket lines—including Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker. Boston City Council passed a resolution calling all city employees to not patronize hotels while workers were on strike.

Further details of the contract will be shared after the more than 5,000 Marriott workers still on strike in San Francisco and Hawaii reach agreements and end their strikes. Strikes at Marriott hotels ended with ratifications previously in San Diego, San Jose, Oakland, and Detroit.

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UNITE HERE Local 26 is the hospitality workers’ union and represents more than 10,000 members working in the hotel, food service, and airport industries in Boston and Rhode Island.  Learn more at www.local26.org

UNITE HERE represents over 270,000 members working in the hotel, gaming, food service, and airport industries across the US and Canada. Learn more at www.unitehere.org

Massachusetts Political Leaders Delegate Marriott Management, Call for Meaningful Negotiations to End Strike

Local politicians show strong support of striking Marriott hotel workers, out fighting for one job that’s enough to live on for almost a full month

Governor Baker Moves Event: In addition to today’s delegation of state and local politicians, last week Governor Charlie Baker said he would no longer hold his election night events at the Sheraton Boston. “We have been given word that Governor Charlie Baker has moved his election night operation out of the Sheraton Boston, one of the 7 Marriott-operated hotels where workers are on strike,” said UNITE HERE Local 26 President Brian Lang. “On behalf of Boston’s striking Marriott workers, I would like to thank our good friend Governor Baker for his leadership and act of solidarity with the striking workers.”

BOSTON, MA—Led by Congresswoman-elect Ayanna Pressley, and City Councilors Ed Flynn and Michelle Wu, local politicians gave Marriott management a letter urging meaningful movement at the negotiating table. Striking Marriott hotel workers have been out since October 3, sacrificing to win a new contract from the biggest and richest hotel company in the world.

Massachusetts and Boston politicians see striking Marriott hotel workers as “ambassadors for the Greater Boston area.” Their letter to President and CEO of Marriott, Arne Sorenson, states “Like all workers, they deserve to be paid a living wage and enjoy basic protections from unfair scheduling practices, sexual harassment, and other workplace abuses.” The letter continues, “We urge you to negotiate in good faith with the representing union, UNITE HERE Local 26, to reach a fair compromise that will end the strike and allow both parties to move forward amicably as soon as possible.”

Marriott is the largest and most profitable hotel chain in the world, but Boston’s Local 26 workers have been in contract negotiations since March as they fight to win basic job security, safer working conditions, and jobs that are enough to support their families.

On October 3, workers walked out at seven Marriott-operated hotels, including the Aloft Boston Seaport District, the Element Boston Seaport District, the Ritz-Carlton Boston, the Sheraton Boston, the W Hotel Boston, the Westin Boston Waterfront, and the Westin Copley Place. This is the first hotel strike in Boston’s history. The last time Local 26 workers went on strike was at Harvard in October 2016, when dining hall workers struck for 22 days and successfully settled a contract with the world’s richest university.

Marriott workers are also on strike in San Francisco, Detroit, San Jose, San Diego, Oakland, and Hawaii, totaling nearly 8,000 workers demanding that One Job Should Be Enough.

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UNITE HERE Local 26 is the hospitality workers’ union and represents more than 10,000 members working in the hotel, food service, and airport industries in Boston and Rhode Island.  Learn more at www.local26.org

UNITE HERE represents over 270,000 members working in the hotel, gaming, food service, and airport industries across the US and Canada. Learn more at www.unitehere.org

Boston Marriott Hotel Workers on Strike!

As of 5:00AM UNITE HERE Local 26 hotel workers are on strike at 7 Marriott hotels in Boston

Historic strike at the biggest hotel employer in Boston

Workers say: “One Job Should Be Enough” to wealthiest hotel company in the world

What: UNITE HERE Local 26 hotel workers from doormen to housekeepers are on strike at 7 downtown Boston hotels, all operated by Marriott International.
When: October 3rd, 2018, 6:00AM
Where: Sheraton Boston by Marriott, 39 Dalton St, Boston, MA 02199
Who: UNITE HERE Local 26 hotel workers including housekeepers, cooks, bartenders, bellmen, food and beverage servers, dishwashers, along with UNITE HERE Local 26 President, Brian Lang will be available for comment at the Sheraton Boston.

Why: Over 1,500 Marriott hotel workers in Boston are on strike. They have traded in their mops, trays, and uniforms for picket signs and drums. Workers walked out at seven Marriott-operated hotels today, including the Aloft Boston Seaport District, the Element Boston Seaport District, the Ritz-Carlton Boston, the Sheraton Boston, the W Hotel Boston, the Westin Boston Waterfront, and the Westin Copley Place. This is the first hotel strike in Boston’s history. The last time Local 26 workers went on strike was at Harvard in October 2016, when dining hall workers walked out for 22 days and successfully settled a contract with the world’s richest university.

Hotel workers called for a strike after Marriott failed meet workers’ modest demand that One Job Should Be Enough, despite months of negotiations.

“I am striking because I have to work three jobs to try and cover all my family’s expenses,” said Brooke Melanson, a bartender at the Westin Boston Waterfront. “Just like any parent, I want time with my children to see them grow up. We hear all the time how well Marriott is doing. We want Marriott to recognize our contribution to their success.”

Marriott workers want jobs that allow them to live in Boston. They want to afford their rent, provide for their families, and retire with dignity. They want to work in safe conditions and have job security, including a say in how new technologies are introduced to the hospitality industry.

“Marriott has forced this strike. After 5 years of record profits and more than 6 months of contract talks Marriott still doesn’t get it,” said UNITE HERE Local 26 President Brian Lang. “It’s our work that creates the great experience for the hotel guests. We are the reason that they keep coming back. Our demand is modest and fair, One Job Should be Enough.”

Local 26 is asking the public to not cross picket lines by not patronizing any Marriott hotels while where workers are on strike. UNITE HERE maintains MarriottTravelAlert.org, a service that informs Marriott hotel customers of labor disputes.

Marriott faces potential strikes in San Francisco, Detroit, Seattle, San Jose, San Diego, Oakland, and Hawaii, as thousands of workers are demanding that One Job Should Be Enough.

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UNITE HERE Local 26 is the hospitality workers’ union and represents more than 10,000 members working in the hotel, food service, and airport industries in Boston and Rhode Island. Learn more at www.local26.org

UNITE HERE represents over 270,000 members working in the hotel, gaming, food service, and airport industries across the US and Canada. Learn more at www.unitehere.org.

Contact: Tiffany Ten Eyck, 313-515-1807, [email protected]
Twitter: @unitehere26 #1job #MarriottStrike

Hotel Workers Open Strike Headquarters in Downtown Boston, Prepare for Potential Strike of Marriott Hotels

Workers test bullhorns, staple picket signs, and sign up for picket lines in preparation for a potential strike at Marriott hotels

Boston, MA—This week UNITE HERE Local 26 hotel workers are signing up for shifts on strike picket lines, making hundreds of picket signs, and testing bullhorns for a potential strike of the richest hotel company in the world.

On September 12th more than 1,000 Local 26 hotel workers voted to authorize the Union bargaining committee to call strikes at 8 Boston Marriott hotels – Aloft Boston Seaport District, Element Boston Seaport District, W Hotel Boston, Westin Boston Waterfront, Westin Copley Place, Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel, the Ritz-Carlton Boston, and the Sheraton Boston. Months of negotiations, actions, and strikes authorization votes by more than 8,000 Marriott workers in Boston, San Francisco, Detroit, Seattle, San Jose, San Diego, Oakland, Honolulu, and Maui have yet to yield a settlement that provides jobs that are enough to live on.

Marriott, a company worth $45 billion, spent $1.9 billion on repurchasing its own company shares through August 6 of this year—a sum so great that every employee worldwide would receive $10,734 if shared with workers. Boston hotel workers are calling on Marriott to use its billions to invest in the people who make their hotels so profitable. Workers are demanding the chance to live in Boston, support a family, and retire with dignity by working one job. In addition, workers are demanding greater job and safety protections, including advanced notice on technological advances, and progressive changes to the company’s confusing “Your choice” / “Make a Green Choice” program that offers guests points while keeping housekeepers out of work or in pain.

Sheraton Boston housekeeper Jissely Paulino said, “I have a family to take care of. Marriott has been making record profits while I struggle to get enough hours to cover my rent, bills, and childcare. This is a sacrifice I am willing to make for my family’s future. Should we strike, my coworkers and I will be on the picket line until we win.”

Local 26 has been bargaining with Marriott for contracts covering 1,800 workers since March. Contract negotiations will impact 5,000 hotel workers in Boston. The last time Local 26 workers were on strike in Massachusetts was in October 2016 when Harvard dining services workers stayed out for 22 days against the richest university in the world.

UNITE HERE Local 26 President Brian Lang said, “If there is a hotel strike in Boston, it will be Marriott’s failing. Marriott is the richest hotel company on the face of the earth. It’s about time corporate executives respect the work we put in every day that makes Marriott billions. Our demand is simple: one job should be enough.”

Local 26 is encouraging Massachusetts residents, elected officials, political candidates, and tourists to support workers by not patronizing hotels in case there is a labor dispute. In an event of a strike, please do not cross picket lines. UNITE HERE maintains MarriottTravelAlert.org, a service for customers of Marriott hotels who need to know whether labor disputes could affect their travel or event plans.

Available for comment: Marriott hotel workers including room attendants, cooks, bartenders, bellmen, food and beverage servers, dishwashers, and more are available for interviews over the phone.

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UNITE HERE Local 26 is the hospitality workers’ union and represents over 10,000 members working in the hotel, food service, and airport industries in Boston and Rhode Island. Learn more at www.local26.org

UNITE HERE represents over 270,000 members working in the hotel, gaming, food service, and airport industries across the US and Canada. Learn more at www.unitehere.org.

Contact: Tiffany Ten Eyck, 313-515 1807 [email protected]

With 96% Voting Yes, Boston Marriott Hotel Workers Vote to Strike

BOSTONMore than 1,000 UNITE HERE Local 26 hotel workers have voted to authorize a strike at eight Boston Marriott hotels—the W, Westin Copley, Westin Boston Waterfront, Renaissance, Ritz Carlton, Sheraton Boston, Aloft, and Element hotels. With overwhelming support to strike, the bargaining committee can now call a strike at any time. This news comes two days after Marriott employees of Hawaii’s UNITE HERE Local 5 authorized a strike with a 95% vote, covering 3,500 employees in Honolulu and Maui. More strike votes will follow this week in San Francisco, San Jose, and Seattle, with more to be announced.

Although Marriott is the leading hotel employer in Boston and the biggest and most profitable hotel company in the world, months of bargaining have transpired without a deal.

Hotel workers are saying that One Job Should Be Enough – to live in the city they work in, raise a family, and retire with dignity. This includes relief for housekeepers from unsafe working conditions created by the so-called “Green Choice” program, and an equal seat at the table to decide how technology, which will affect the nature of work in hotels for years to come, is introduced.

Boston hotel workers have been in negotiations with Marriott for contracts covering more than 1,800 workers since March. Contract negotiations will ultimately impact 5,000 hotel workers.

Juan Medina, a houseman at the Westin Boston Waterfront, says he is ready to strike. “I’ve given everything to this hotel and it’s still not enough. Because of the Green Choice program, housekeepers and housemen like myself are getting less work. And when we do come into work, there are not enough people on the schedule. The rooms are also harder to clean because they have not been touched in 3 days. I voted to strike today because I work for Marriott, the richest hotel company in the world and I don’t have enough to support my family, and feel safe and respected at work.”

UNITE HERE Local 26 President Brian Lang says, “Local 26 hotel workers have spoken powerfully today. Marriott has made record profits off our work and they throw pennies at us. If they don’t get off the dime there will be a strike and it will be on their hands.”

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UNITE HERE Local 26 is the hospitality workers’ union and represents 10,000 members working in the hotel, food service, gaming and airport industries in Boston and Rhode Island.  Learn more at www.local26.org

UNITE HERE represent 270,000 members working in the hotel, gaming, food service, and airport industries across the US and Canada. Learn more at www.unitehere.org.

Boston Hotel Workers Announce Strike Vote Set for September 12

BOSTON, MA – Today on Labor’s traditional sleepy “day off”, 22 UNITE HERE Local 26 members and President Brian Lang risked arrested in front of the Westin Copley by participating in a peaceful sit-down civil disobedience, followed by a march to the Sheraton Boston where they announced a strike authorization vote set for September 12.  Should workers vote to authorize a strike, a strike could be called at any moment.

The civil disobedience and call for a strike vote come at the official end of a summer full of negotiations with Marriott for contracts covering 1,800 workers. Contract negotiations will ultimately impact 5,000 hotel workers and could impact almost 11,000 hotel rooms. Picket lines have continued to pop up at Marriott hotels across the city, which include the W, Westin Boston Waterfront, Aloft, Element, Renaissance, Ritz Carlton, and the Sheraton Boston.

“Our members make Boston’s hotels run and we are not afraid to shut them down if we have to,” said UNITE HERE Local 26 President Brian Lang. “It took a strike at Harvard. It almost took a strike at Northeastern. These days, workers aren’t afraid of a little chaos if that’s what it takes to get executives to listen. Marriott is the richest hotel company on the planet yet they’re offering hotel workers crumbs. Marriott seems to have forgotten who makes them their billions. We are here to remind them,” he said.

All summer Marriott workers have been calling on their employer to use their leadership in the global hotel industry to do more for hotel workers. Worldwide, hotel workers work multiple jobs and struggle to live in the cities where they work, raise their families, and retire with dignity and security. Workers have told Marriott for months: One Job Should Be Enough.

Carlos Da Veiga has worked as a houseman at the Sheraton Boston for more than 20 years. “I have lived in Dorchester for 25 years, but with rising housing costs, my family and I are worried we will not be able to remain much longer. The hotel industry is raking in cash here in Boston and around the world, so I know Marriott can provide a higher standard for us. We are ready to do whatever it takes, including a strike.”

In addition to demanding jobs that help workers survive spiraling housing and living costs, workers have demanded Marriott adopt innovative technology that keeps workers and their jobs safe, and offer stronger protections for safety at work.

Sorinelda Pabon, Local 26 housekeeper at the Westin Boston Waterfront for 9 years says she will vote to strike to get the company to do something about the “green choice” program that pays guests points for denying housekeeping, as reported in the Boston Globe“I lay with the phone next to my pillow. I don’t know the next time I will be called in for work and no longer have a set schedule. I am working fewer hours, but I also have no way to schedule appointments or make time for my family. I am voting to strike because I want Marriott executives to understand that they are harming housekeepers like me with this program.”

UNITE HERE members and their service have helped propel Marriott to reach an astounding $42 billion market capitalization with 1.2 million rooms worldwide.

Other Marriott worker actions today included marches, rallies and civil disobedience in Honolulu, San Francisco, Seattle, San Diego, and Baltimore in efforts to reach the top executives of the company.

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UNITE HERE Local 26 is the hospitality workers’ union and represents over 10,000 members working in the hotel, food service, and airport industries in Boston and Rhode Island.  Learn more at www.local26.org

UNITE HERE represents over 270,000 members working in the hotel, gaming, food service, and airport industries across the US and Canada. Learn more at www.unitehere.org.