Seattle has now joined four other major meeting destinations where Marriott workers have overwhelmingly voted to strike.
On Friday, Sept. 14, housekeepers, servers, cooks and doormen are The Westin Seattle authorized leadership of their union, Unite Here, to call a strike if ongoing bargaining talks continue to be deadlocked.
Previously, 3,500 workers at six Marriott properties in Hawaii, 1,800 workers at eight Marriott properties in Boston and 2,300 workers at seven Marriott properties in San Francisco and San Jose, California, took similar votes.
In all, more than 8,000 Marriott employees are involved. If actual strikes are called, they will join the more than 6,000 workers from several hotel brands on strike in Chicago since Sept. 7.
The Hawaii properties involved are in Honolulu and Maui. They include Sheraton Princess Kailuani, Sheraton Maui, Sheraton Waikiki, The Royal Hawaiian, The Westin Moana Surfrider and Waikiki Beach Marriott. The strike vote came after months of negotiation between Unite Here Local 5 and Marriott.
“Our proposal is to make one job enough to live on in Hawaii,” Eric Gill, Local 5 secretary-treasurer, told Associated Press.
Year-round health benefits and worker protection against automation are reportedly among the major issues on the negotiating table.
A Marriott International spokesperson said: “We have been in negotiations with Unite Here Local 26 since April. Since then, we’ve had over a dozen meetings where we have been able to reach tentative agreements on some substantive issues.” He indicated that significant issues remain for both parties that need to be resolved. “We continue to negotiate in good faith. Throughout our longstanding relationship with Local 26, we have always taken the negotiation process seriously and reached agreements. We have no reason to believe that this negotiation process will be any different. We respect the right of our associates to voice their opinions on issues that are important to them. Should the union and our employees choose to strike, our hotels will continue to operate and work to minimize any disruption,” he added.