Hotel Strike Ends With Better Contract For Workers

After being off the job for more than a month, employees of Marriott-owned hotels in the city reached
an agreement and voted to return to work the weekend before Thanksgiving.
Members of UNITE HERE Local 26 overwhelmingly voted in favor of ratifying their new contracts, which guarantees better working conditions and more job security, according to Nicki Morris, spokesperson for the hotel workers union.
For weeks hotel employees for Seaport and downtown hotels in Boston have been picketing outside of their workplace as negotiations with the hotel company have fallen through.Inside a Hynes Convention Center ballroom on Saturday, November 17, a union member read out thevote tallies to ratify the contract in front of reporters.
“We had a vote whether or not to end the 46 days of strike by the Marriott workers and whether or not to accept the contract that we fought long and hard for,” a union member said. “And the vote was 677 in favor, nine against and five void, so we have a contract!”
The news of a contract was joined with loud applause by fellow hotel employees and chants of “Who’s
gonna win? 26!”
Union president Brian Lang said in a statement, “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.”
The union first announced its intention to strike over failed contract negotiations on Labor Day and officially took a vote to do so on September 12, which was followed by massive rallies throughout the city.
The strike was “the longest and largest hotel worker strike in Boston’s history,” according to Morris.
As of press time more than 5,000 hotel workers in San Francisco and Hawaii were still on strike against
Marriott hotels.

Jordan Frias

Jordan Frias is an editorial assistant at Boston Herald and a contributor of Spare Change News. He is vice president of the New England Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and a graduate of Northeastern University's School of Journalism.

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