Largest Strike in History Yields Higher Pay, Safer Conditions for Hotel Workers

Labor News

Reprinted from The San Francisco Chronicle by Alondra De La Cruz and Hyowon Lihinag-Tam on December 10, 2018.

In October, more than 7,700 hotel workers across the country walked off of their jobs, as employees who are part of the labor union Unite Here began the largest strike in history against the largest hotel corporation in the world, Marriott. Workers in seven cities, including Oakland, San Jose and San Francisco, remained on the picket line in the hope of signing a new contract. The key issues on the bargaining table: economic fairness, safe workloads, and job security. …

While the strike was in action, Oakland voters were also asked to support hotel workers through a November ballot measure known as Measure Z. The measure, which passed with 74 percent of the vote, will require Oakland hotels with 50 or more guest rooms to set a minimum wage of $15 per hour with healthcare benefits, or $20 per hour if they do not provide health coverage, and incorporate workload restrictions. Under the new local regulation, hotel workers will be provided with a panic button to report threats if they ever feel unsafe while interacting with guests. …

After more than a month on the picket line, union representatives from UniteHere in all seven cities, slowly came to agreements with Marriott, with Oakland leading the way. On December 3, Marriott’s contract agreement with San Francisco brought an end to the nationwide strike. …

SF Chronicle 12/10

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About Jeffrey Burman 5294 Articles
Jeff Burman served on the Guild’s Board of Directors from 1992 to 2019. He is now retired. He can be reached at

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