SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.—The largest hotel workers’ strike in U.S. history ended Dec. 3, when UNITE HERE Local 2 members in San Francisco voted almost unanimously to ratify a contract agreement reached in the wee hours that morning.
The union announced at 9 p.m. that it had “just ratified the best contract that San Francisco hotel workers ever had with a 99.6% yes!”
The settlement ended a series of strikes this fall by 7,700 Marriott workers in eight locations—San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, Boston, Detroit, San Diego, and the Hawaiian islands of Oahu and Maui. They were demanding wages high enough so they could afford those areas’ housing costs, on the slogan that “one job should be enough.” The San Francisco walkout, which began Oct. 4, was the largest and longest of the lot, with about 2,500 workers at seven hotels involved.
Local 2 said the agreement “sets a new and transformative standard for SF’s hotel industry.” “It really is a historic deal for these workers and our union,” union President Anand Singh told reporters before the ratification vote. He said the workers—housekeepers, bartenders, and more—would be back on the job Dec. 5.
UNITE HERE, as it did in other cities where strikes ended, did not release specific details of the San Francisco contract. But it said the deal, “like the settlements in all the strike locations, marks historic wage and benefit increases; pioneering civil rights protections that create a pathway out of poverty via access to good union jobs; sexual harassment protections, including removal and banning of guests who violate women; and a seat at the table for workers as the hospitality industry grapples with automation in hotels.”
“Today the historic contract settlement made with Marriott in San Francisco marks the beginning of a new standard for hotel workers in North America, and has made Marriott a leader in the hospitality industry by ensuring that one job is enough for hotel workers to live with dignity,” UNITE HERE International President D. Taylor said in a statement. “Because of the movement made by Marriott in San Francisco to make one job enough, the largest hotel worker strike in modern American history today has reached an end.”
Singh said he expected the Marriott agreement to set a pattern for the other San Francisco hotels where 5,500 Local 2 members are still working under expired contracts. “To the Hilton, the Hyatt, the Fairmont, we say—we’ve got a deal. This is the deal,” he declared on Twitter Dec. 3.