Thousands of Marriott hotel workers in San Francisco and San Jose went on strike Thursday morning to demand higher pay, more job security and smaller workloads.
Organizers said about 2,500 workers were picketing at seven different Marriott hotels around The City. Workers at one hotel in San Jose also went on strike.
Employees were marching in front of the hotels with picket signs and bullhorns. Some of the workers have been with the company for decades and they say low wages have forced them to take on second and third jobs.
Lisa Correa, a banquet server who has been with the company for 29 years, was one of the workers striking outside the Marriott Marquis this morning.
Correa said low pay has forced her to live outside of the city and she has to commute nearly 40 miles to work every day. She also said Marriott executives are trying to make it harder for workers to qualify for benefits.
“They’ve put millions of dollars into hotel renovations, but then they want to tell us that they can’t afford medical … We’ve had enough of it.”
Anand Singh, president of Unite Here Local 2, the San Francisco union representing hotel and restaurant workers, said union officials have been trying to negotiate with Marriott.
“We’ve been met with either resistance or deafening silence.”
The strike will continue until workers’ demands are met, Singh said. He said as of mid-morning that the union hadn’t heard from them.
The San Francisco hotels being picketed were the Courtyard Marriott Downtown, the Marriott Marquis, the Marriott Union Square, the Palace Hotel, the St. Regis, the W, and the Westin St. Francis, according to organizers.
A request for comment from Marriott was not immediately returned.