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Marriott Housekeeper Strike Ends After Two Months

Latest contract raises rates, reduces workload, and protects housekeepers from sexual harassment.

December 7, 2018

A new contract approved this week between San Francisco, CA, hotel housekeepers and Marriott International ends a two-month nationwide strike against the world’s largest hotel chain, The New York Times reports.

The strike, which at its peak involved 7,700 workers at 23 hotels, began in October and involved Marriott hotels in Boston, MA; Detroit, MI; San Jose, Oakland, San Diego, and San Francisco, CA; and Honolulu and Lahaina, HI.

The latest contract will give housekeepers working in San Francisco hotels a US$1.75 hourly increase that will grow to $4 within four years. The current median wage for the housekeepers is $23 an hour.

The contract also stipulates housekeepers and other employees with personal contact with guests will receive a silent GPS-enabled panic button to summon help if they are threatened. Under the old contract, hotel staff who accused a guest of sexual harassment could only be assured of avoiding contact with the person for one day. Now workers can avoid further contact with the guest and the hotel will evict the guest if it finds credible proof of inappropriate behavior.

A third provision provides a reduced workload for housekeepers, especially if they are responsible for rooms that don’t receive daily cleaning as part of Marriott’s “Make a Green Choice” program. Housekeepers had complained that the program resulted in rooms that were dirtier than normal, and they risked injury with the heavy workload.

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