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Unions striking against a large employer for higher wages is not an uncommon headline, especially in hospitality.
Unite Here, the union representing 20,000 Marriott employees, is protesting the low wages of hospitality workers and for increased measures to protect their member’s jobs in the future. With the acquisition of Starwood, Marriott has been growing by leaps and bounds, but that doesn’t seem to be benefiting its employees.
Roughly 40% of the Marriott employees represented by the union are walking out of the hotels and onto the sidewalks with signs and chants. Even the president of Unite Here, Donald Taylor, is outside protesting as well. Taylor, along with dozens of others, were arrested on October 13th at a protest for stopping traffic outside of the Marriott Marquis in San Francisco, California.
While this isn’t a Marriott-wide protest, it is affecting 23 of their properties in large metropolitan cities such as Detroit, Boston, Oakland, San Francisco, San Jose, Honolulu, and San Diego. The common theme across these cities is the high cost of living combined with the low pay. However, Unite Here is asking for more than just higher pay. They are demanding the following:
- A wage high enough so workers do not need to work more than one job
- Regulation on the role of automation into the hotel industry
- Increased workplace safety
At the end of the day, everyone suffers. The workers are not working, the hotel is not delivering the best product, and the guests that are paying hard earned money are not getting the product they were expecting. For everyone involved, it is extremely important all sides come together quickly to come to an agreement.
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