BOSTON (CBS) – More than a thousand hotel workers in Boston walked off the job early Wednesday morning.
About 1,500 housekeepers, cooks, bartenders, bellmen, dishwashers and food and beverage servers went on strike outside seven Marriott-operated hotels.
The union representing them says, despite months of negotiations, Marriott has not met their demands for higher pay. The employees say they're asking for salaries that don't force them to work more than one job so they can afford rents in Boston and provide for their families.
"We are disappointed that Unite Here has chosen to resort to a strike at this time," Marriott spokesman Hunter Hardinge said in a statement Tuesday.
"Marriott's current economic proposal matches the economic terms in the parties' last contract, which included the largest increases in the parties' bargaining history. We have not proposed any changes to our associates' health, welfare or retirement benefits. During the strike our hotels are open, and we stand ready to provide excellent service to our guests. While we respect our associates' rights to participate in this work stoppage, we also will welcome any associate who chooses to continue to work."
The workers walked out of the Aloft Boston Seaport District, the Element Boston Seaport District, the Ritz-Carlton Boston, the Sheraton Boston, the W Hotel Boston, the Westin Boston Waterfront, and the Westin Copley Place. They plan to stay off the job until 7 p.m.
The union representing them, Local 26, said this is the first hotel strike in Boston's history.
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