Marriott Hotel Protests
By Luis Mercado 10/29/2018
For nearly a month, more than 1,500 employees who worked at several Marriott owned and operated hotels throughout the Boston area have been on strike. In noisy picket lines in front of the hotels the protestors are calling for higher pay so they afford to live Boston, improved working conditions and guidelines on sexual assault.
Negotiations between Marriott and Local 26, the union representing hotel and restaurant employees have been stalled for months. On October 1st when talks over wages fell apart, the union employees walked off the job.
Local 26 President Brian Lang says the employees will not return to work until Marriott addresses the issues.
“The hotel industry has had the five most profitable years in the history of Boston. The largest hotel company in the world dominates this market, and we’re saying to them, ‘Our job should be enough for a hotel worker to live in a city that they work in, to raise their family and to retire in dignity.”
In response, Marriott International released the following statement saying:
We are disappointed that Unite Here has chosen to resort to a strike at this time. 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. 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.
Every day the protestors can be found marching in front of the Ritz Carlton, the W hotel, and the Westin. The noise they make with whistles and plastic drum containers is disturbing hotel guests and condo owners, and hurting businesses in the area. Police are on duty but the demonstrations have been peaceful so far.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced that he will set up a meeting with Marriott Executives and the striking workers in hopes to come to agreement to meet the Marriott’s employees demands.