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Hotel Workers Picket Westin Hotel in Seattle

July 10, 2011

Over 200 workers from Seattle-area hotels gathered on July 7th in front of the Westin hotel, demanding to share in the hospitality sector's recovery.

Over 1,400 Seattle hospitality workers with expired agreements have united in order to demand not only wage and benefit increases that grow along with company profits, but also to demand that hotel industry provide a fair process to workers seeking to organize in newly build properties.

During the recession, hotels continued to remain profitable through a combination of layoffs, decreased work schedules and increased workloads for staff, burdening its low-wage workforce. According to the industry’s own projections, hotels will be returning to record profit levels by 2012.

"Hotel workers can sometimes seem invisible," says Erik Van Rossum, Secretary-Treasurer of UNITE HERE Local 8, the union representing the workers in the campaign. "They create luxury in Seattle’s hotels by cleaning the rooms, washing the dishes, and cooking the food, among other thankless jobs. But now they are standing up with one voice to demand respect and fairness."

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