HONOLULU, Hawaii—The strike by 7,700 Marriott hotel workers expanded to eight U.S. cities Oct. 8, with staff out at 23 hotels in Boston, Detroit, Oakland, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Honolulu, and on the island of Maui in Hawaii. Workers in other cities may join the strike “at any time,” according to UNITE HERE, the union representing them. About 12,000 bellhops, front-desk clerks, housekeepers, and restaurant workers at the chain have been working under expired contracts since August. UNITE HERE is seeking “significant raises that bring workers up above the poverty line…. dollars on the hour raises,” Local 2 spokesperson Rachel Gumpert told a CBS affiliate in San Francisco. “We need to make sure that the people who power this city can afford to live here,” Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-Mass.) told picketers in Boston Oct. 10. UNITE HERE also wants better protections against sexual harassment, such as “panic buttons” workers can carry to call for help. Marriott International is now the largest and most profitable hotel chain in the world, with more than 6,500 properties including the Ritz-Carlton, Sheraton, and Renaissance Hotels. It made $3.2 billion in profits last year. Read more


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