Marriott Hotel employees in U.S. Oakland city on strike to back their peers in two other Bay Area cities

Source: Xinhua| 2018-10-06 07:33:19|Editor: Yurou
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SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 5 (Xinhua) -- About 200 employees of Marriott hotel in Oakland city of northern California Friday went on a strike for a pay rise and better work environment, organizers said.

The Oakland Marriott workers are joining more than 2,500 Marriott workers in two other Bay Area cities of San Francisco and San Jose, who walked out on strike Thursday and 1,500 Marriott workers in Boston who took to the street on Wednesday, said Unite Here, a labor union representing more than 20,000 workers in the United States and Canada who work in the hotel, gaming, food service and airport industries.

The union said the Oakland workers are demonstrating after their negotiations with Marriott failed to produce any progress after months at the table.

"Marriott workers are on strike for the principle that one job should be enough," said Wei-Ling Huber, president of the Oakland chapter of Unite Here.

"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," Huber said.

Huber added that Marriott can and must change the situation because it is the largest and richest hotel company in the world.

Vernice Scott, a banquet server at the Oakland Marriott, said many of his colleagues have served this city for decades.

"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," he said.

In the Bay Area, about 12,000 Unite Here members work as housekeepers, cooks, bartenders and servers in the hospitality industry, including Marriott Hotel.

Unite Here said those workers have had their contracts expire and are locked in ongoing negotiations with the hotel management, and they asked the hotel to offer jobs that are enough for them to live on.

They are also fighting for improved workplace safety, particularly around unsafe workloads and strenuous physical labor, and pioneering job protections around technology and innovation in the hospitality industry, said the labor union.

Marriott expressed disappointment over the strike called by Unite Here in a statement, saying its hotels are open and ready to provide excellent service to its customers while it respects the workers' rights to work stoppage.

Unite Here said its members in other U.S. cities are likely to go on strike in the coming days and 8,300 members have authorized strikes in nine cities across the country.