Oakland, CA – Today nearly 200 workers at the Oakland Marriott City Center have walked out on strike, as negotiations with Marriott failed to move after months at the table and on the heels of 8,300 Marriott workers represented by UNITE HERE authorizing strikes of the company just weeks ago. The Oakland Marriott workers are joining more than 2,500 Marriott workers who went on strike yesterday in San Francisco and San Jose and 1,500 Marriott workers in Boston who went on strike on Wednesday.
Wei-Ling Huber, president of Local 2850, said “Marriott workers are on strike for the principle that One Job Should be Enough. As the cost of living skyrockets in Oakland and the hotel industry is booming, many hotel workers cannot afford to live in the city where they work. Many work multiple jobs just to survive. As the largest and richest hotel company in the world, Marriott can and must change that.”
Vernice Scott, a banquet server at the Oakland Marriott said, “We are the ones who welcome travelers to Oakland, and many of us have served this city for decades. We are the reason Marriott is so successful. We are only asking for what is fair, and we are willing to strike to achieve it, standing together with our sisters and brothers at Marriott hotels across North America.”
UNITE HERE represents more than 20,000 Marriott hotel workers across North America, of whom more than 12,000 have had their contracts expire and are locked in ongoing negotiations. Multiple UNITE HERE locals in nine different cities have authorized strikes of Marriott that can begin any time, and some are already on strike. Three of the most crucial points of disagreement include the need for Marriott to be a leader in the hospitality industry, recognize their role as the largest and most profitable hotel company in the world, and offer workers jobs that are enough for them to live on. Additionally, workers are fighting for improved workplace safety, particularly around unsafe workloads and strenuous physical labor created by the so-called “Green Choice program,” and pioneering job protections around technology and innovation in the hospitality industry.
UNITE HERE represents more than 270,000 members working in the hotel, gaming, food service, manufacturing, textile, distribution, laundry, transportation, and airport industries in the U.S. and Canada.