SAN FRANCISCO — Outraged that executives at hotel corporation Marriott have yet to settle the strike going into its third week, more than 3,000 community, labor, and religious supporters and Unite Here Local 2 workers hit the streets to demand that Marriott make one job enough for hotel workers and end the strike.
Since Marriott hotel housekeepers, bellmen, cooks, dishwashers, and others walked out more on October 4, San Francisco residents, labor organizations, community groups, religious organizations, and major customers have pledged support: walking picket lines, donating to the strikers’ hardship fund, and moving events to non-struck hotels. The recent mass demonstration was the first time that community members – including major political allies, LGBTQ allies, and dozens of aligned unions from the public, private, and trades sectors – joined together in support of Marriott hotel workers on strike.
“When you pick a fight with the hotel workers in this city, you pick a fight with the whole city,” said Anand Singh, President of Unite Here Local 2. “Our community is standing up and fighting back to make one job enough. We are going to win this fight the way we win every fight – with the solidarity and the resolve of working people.”
Workers on strike returned to the bargaining table with Marriott recently but as company representatives dragged their feet, overwhelming community support and outrage at the company turned to action. Workers are fighting for Marriott to raise pay so that one full time job is enough to live on in these cities, for basic job security around automation in the industry, and for an end to the unsafe workloads created by the so-called “Green Choice” program.
“My job at Marriott is not enough to live with dignity,” said Nicholas Javier, a server at Marriott’s Westin St. Francis hotel. “I’m one rent payment away from living on the street, and I have no real job security, so I feel like I’m living on a razor’s edge. I went on strike and I’m marching today because one job should be enough for Marriott hotel workers like me.”
Striking Marriott workers are holding similar Saturday demonstrations in more than a half dozen other cities throughout the U.S., including Oakland and San Jose.