Hotel workers to rally outside downtown Seattle Westin

Jun 27, 2018, 12:51 PM

Westin, hotel workers...

The two towers of Seattle's Westin hotel. (Michael Innes, Flickr)

About 200 private union hotel workers are expected to rally outside of the Westin hotel in downtown Seattle Wednesday evening.

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“Many hotel workers can’t afford to live here, many hotel workers have to have two or three jobs,” said Erik Van Rossum with Unite Here, a hospitality union. “And I think that is a shame for the richest hotel company on the planet … Marriott is the richest hotel company on the planet, and their workers don’t need two or more jobs just to survive in the city or the region where they work.”

The hotel workers are pushing for better pay and better rights. The rally is part of a national protest campaign organized at various hotels owned by Marriott in Boston, Honolulu, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, and Seattle. One union member says she has to drive more than 100 miles just to work at her hotel job on Boston, according to the union.

Picket lines are expected to begin in Seattle at 4 p.m. on Fifth Avenue in front of the hotel. It is not known if the rally will impact traffic or how long it will last.

The national protest is also meant to demand safer working conditions for female staff and stronger sexual harassment protections. The workers also want to negotiate “technology and innovation language that will keep workers safe without eliminating middle-class jobs.”

The hospitality union released a statement regarding the Supreme Court’s recent Janus decision, though it doesn’t apply to them as a private worker union. Unite Here says the Supreme Court decision “rigs the system like never before against working-class families and sets America up for an explosion of the most economic inequality since the Gilded Age.”

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Hotel workers to rally outside downtown Seattle Westin