After 60 days of noisy, exhausting, endless striking, the voices of 2,500 San Francisco Marriott workers appear to have reached the corporate entities they work for. Early Monday morning an agreement appears to have been reached, though the ink isn’t completely dry yet.
The decision came after a 10 a.m. Sunday meeting went well into the night.
“This hard-fought contract sets a new and transformative standard for San Francisco’s hotel industry,” said UNITE HERE Local 2 President Anand Singh. “During more than two months on strike, hotel workers’ resolve never wavered, and neither did the support and solidarity of our community. Now it’s time for every hotel company to follow Marriott’s lead.”
The mayor of San Francisco, along with many members of the Board of Supervisors, have marched with the Marriott workers and have made appeals to the hotel behemoth on their behalf.
“I’m happy that Local 2 and Marriott have reached a tentative agreement to end the hotel workers strike here in San Francisco,” Mayor London Breed said Monday morning. “In this time of rising inequality, it is crucial that our workers are able to earn a fair wage that allows them to live and support their families in the increasingly expensive Bay Area.”
For the workers, who tirelessly marched for their rights more than 12 hours a day, in the rain and through Thanksgiving, this marks a massive shift in their lives.
“Three generations of my family have to share one apartment because my job at Marriott isn’t enough. Because of what we won in this strike, I’ll be able to afford a better place,” said Westin St. Francis housekeeper Candida Kevorkian.“I’m so proud and happy that my coworkers and I stayed strong and united. Together we won a better life.”
Marriott’s new contract with its San Francisco worker will last through 2022. Details will be released after the ratification vote. And the strike is now having a ripple effect; more than 5,500 San Francisco workers from other major hotel chains will now begin contract negotiations, after not having one since mid-August.