More than two months since Marriott workers in Chicago went on strike, igniting strikes at Marriotts across the country, settlements are finally being made — while several others still need to be negotiated.
In early October, the about 30 properties affected by strikes in Chicago had been narrowed down to only two, with workers at Cambria Magnificent Mile and Kinzie Hotel continuing strikes through the last weeks of October. As of Nov. 4, strikes at hotels in Oakland, Calif., and Detroit reached settlements as well by ratifying contract agreements.
That said, meeting planners should know that strikes still continue for more than 7,000 Marriott workers at 21 Marriott properties in Boston; San Jose, Calif.; San Francisco; San Diego; and the Hawaiian islands of Oahu and Maui.
The key demands from workers include better worker compensation, job security and sexual harassment protocols. They’re also demanding more say in how technology affects their work. For instance, online check-ins and room-service orders take jobs away from hotel workers.
Even Marriott’s “Make a Green Choice” program, while good for the environment due to the fact that it cuts down on excess cleaning, throws off the schedule for housekeepers. If a guest opts out of housekeeping during their stay, housekeepers then have to do more work when guests checkout, but are expected to clean the room in the same amount of time as a room that hadn’t opted into the program.
While settlements in Oakland and Detroit mark progress on these issues impacting hotel workers, neither city can share full details of the new contracts until agreements have been made in the other six destinations still dealing with strikes.
The strikes have already begun to affect business for Marriott. In San Francisco, for instance, the 1,000-person ComNet 2018 conference changed hotels in early October as a result of the strike. For meeting planners worried about hosting an event at a hotel were workers are picketing, they should contact their Marriott representative for further guidance. Or read this article on what to do.