Hotel Workers Win “One Job Should Be Enough” Strike

Merry Christmas ahead for Marriott Workers

In November, the Network reported on a hotel workers’ strike that had rippled across the nation. Hotel and motel industry workers in the United States earn an average wage of about $11 per hour, hardly enough to live on in a major US metro area – and many face intermittent employment with frequent interruptions in their employer-based medical coverage. Eight thousand hotel housekeepers, clerks and banquet waiters in Boston, Chicago, Detroit, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Hawai’i had walked off the job at Marriott – the world’s largest hotel chain – calling for major contract changes under the slogan “one job should be enough.” And city by city, the hotel chain agreed to workers’ wage and benefit demands, culminating in a Dec. 3 settlement in San Francisco, home of the last holdouts.

As UNITE HERE announced…

Early this morning 2,500 striking San Francisco UNITE HERE Marriott workers reached a tentative agreement on a contract agreement with Marriott, making San Francisco the eighth and final city to reach a settlement…

The settlement today in San Francisco marks the end of the largest multi-city hotel industry strike ever, nine weeks after seven UNITE HERE affiliates spanning eight different locations first walked out on strike. The San Francisco contract like the settlements in all eight locations marks historic level wage and benefit increases in those cities, as well as sexual harassment protections including removal and banning of guests who violate women, and a seat at the table for workers as the hospitality industry grapples with automation in hotels. San Francisco strikers will return to work Wednesday morning following the expected contract ratification today.

“Today the historic contract settlement made with Marriott in San Francisco marks the beginning of a new standard for hotel workers in North America, and has made Marriott a leader in the hospitality industry in ensuring that one job is enough for hotel workers to live on with dignity,” said D. Taylor, International President of UNITE HERE. “Because of the movement made by Marriott in San Francisco to make one job enough for the eighth and final city, today an end has been reached for the largest hotel worker strike in modern American history.”

Congratulations to the workers on a hard-fought strike and to Marriott for doing what is necessary to provide a just wage for hotel employees. A cautionary note, though: the contract covering Los Angeles and San Diego Marriott locations has just expired. Let’s hope it doesn’t take a strike to persuade management in Southern California to accept an agreement patterned on those just settled.