Walkout: Workers Striking at Marriott Hotels in Boston

About 1500 Marriott employees at Boston properties have walked off the job including groups “from housekeepers to bartenders to bellmen” at the following properties:

  • Aloft Boston Seaport District
  • Element Boston Seaport District
  • Ritz-Carlton Boston, Sheraton Boston
  • W Hotel Boston
  • Westin Boston Waterfront
  • Westin Copley Place

Westin Boston Waterfront, credit: Marriott

Properties remain open. According to the hotel chain,

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.

This is reportedly the first hotel strike in Boston history. About two weeks ago I wrote that union Unite Here was “considering strikes in Boston, San Francisco, Waikiki, and Maui.” and that workers whose contracts are contemporaneously up in Detroit, Oakland, Seattle, San Jose, and San Diego could consider strikes as well.”

I would anticipate somewhat more chaotic or less efficient service than usual. We’ll see how things develop over the coming days but there are going to be contingency plans that Marriott has in place to staff their properties. While they won’t like to have workers striking, let alone if housekeepers wind up accosting guests as they enter and leave the property, it won’t surprise me if these hotels remain largely functional.

In any case for the sake of those that are walking off the job I hope this can be resolved quickly.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Outside the RC Boston this morning was a shit show…. Full on picket line, you’d think it was a mining town

  2. This is a useful post for those planning or starting hotel stays at Marriott’s Boston properties. But since you’re providing a summary of Marriott’s position, it would be appropriate to do the same for the union.

  3. @Steve – my inclusion of Marriott’s statement was really just to communicate that the hotels are open, not to take sides in a labor dispute I haven’t studied the details of.

  4. I can’t believe someone let themselves type the words, “A harassing housekeeper is a dead housekeeper.”

    Why such hate for (mostly) immigrant women who are doing business negotiations for a new deal?

    Geez, Trump people are losing it.

  5. Unions are nothing but thugs and extortionists. If you don’t like your job then go find another one, just like everyone else in the world. You are not entitled to above market wages for low skilled jobs. If you want more money then acquire more skills.

  6. Boston also had a famous hotel strike with Hyatt, when a franchise owner of all the Boston Hyatt properties outsourced houskeeping to a contractor. They were going to largely retain the same staff, but they would have a less favorable position working for some clenaing contractor instead of being a full fledged Hyatt employee with full Hyatt benefits.

    The state government banned employees from using Hyatt nnationwide for several years, and several other organizations cancelled their contract with Hyatt in support of the housekeepers.

    However, unfortunately, it fizzled out even though there were protests at Hyatt hotels for several months on an ongoing basiss. I went to one myself.
    But poleticians and others had no backbone, and they let Hyatt get away with this devaluation. If they had remained strong, they could have made it so difficult for Hyatt to operate, that Hyatt would have been fforced to go back on this business practice.

    Would you rather be a Hyatt employee, or an employee of some random cleaning contractor company?

  7. If MA liberal politicians had really made life difficult for Hyatt, they could have been boxed in to either having to choose to close all the Hyatt hotels in Boston or going back on this decision. I find it hard to believe they would give up the revenue and shut down shop in Boston.

  8. As a former Manager for the Sheraton Boston. All these associates are leeches. The wait staff was getting paid 18/hr plus tips and the bartenders would get 25/hr plus tips and then would get tipped out by the waitstaff too. It was gross how much money they made for an unskilled job.
    All the staff did was complain about having to learn new food and drinks and would refuse to do any other jobs. They would let a table sit dirty until the busser came back from break because it wasnt their job. Regardless how it looked to the guest who paid good money to stay at the property. I hope that Marriott keeps their back bone and sends the union packing. The only thing the union was for was protecting lazy workers.

  9. Costs of living in and around Boston are extreme, neighborhoods that were blue collar are now $2k+ for 2br, less than 5 years ago it was low mid teens

    Copley Marriott for example has a high average nightly rate, pay your labor more, simple.

  10. Marriott? The chain that leaves tip envelopes for the housekeepers because they don’t pay them enough and expect us to make up the difference? The chain that combined reward programs in a sh*tstorm where they lied about what would happen to their packages? That Marriott?
    Screw them.

  11. I am disgusted with the way Marriot is taking away from us…The amount of points to stay at the Hotels for a night is outrageous…and changing Fairfied and Courtyard hotels to higher catagory because it’s in a prime location..It’s still a Fairfield and Courtyard, not a JW Marriott or Marriott..I have been an owner for 21 years and thoroughly disgusted with how greedy they have become !!!!

  12. Good to see the workers have had enough.
    Us customers have also had enough of this merger mismanagement.
    Separate Marriott & SPG!

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