Employees return to work with a hard-won contract in tow following the city’s first major hotel strike in modern history.
Votes cast at a union meeting backed by the hospitality labor union Unite Here and held at the Hynes Convention Center heralded in a win-win for hotel service workers and Marriott International, which is still plagued by strikes in San Francisco and Hawaii. Some 8,000 workers in all hits the streets from September on with a call for higher wages, greater job stability and safer work conditions. Settlements have been reached in Detroit, San Jose, Oakland and San Diego—in San Francisco and Hawaii, Unite Here says there are more scores to settle.
Brian Lang, president of Unite Here Local 26 in Boston, meanwhile, said in an interview with the Boston Globe that the goal of the Boston strike was to obtain a higher wages and enough work hours to meet today’s costs of living. At the heart of the strikes is the notion that Marriott service workers are often forced to hold down multiple jobs to make ends meet. Lang has declined to comment on the details of the Boston settlement, which will affect seven hotels, until the needs of the remaining 5,000 striking Marriott workers have also been met, but does say that Marriott “stepped up” to meet the union’s goals.
The new contract, which will last four and a half years, also includes revised sexual harassment protections for women, paid parental leave, and improvements in working conditions.