Workers at Detroit's Westin Book Cadillac Overwhelmingly OK Strike

September 20, 2018, 8:01 AM by  Allan Lengel

Hotel housekeepers, servers, cooks, and doormen at the Marriott-operated Westin Book Cadillac on Washington Boulevard in  Detroit have overwhelmingly voted to authorize a strike, which could begin soon, their union says.

Unite Here, which represents hotel workers at the downtown hotel, joins 8,500 Marriott workers across the country who authorized strikes of Marriott. In Detroit, 98 percent of the workers authorized the strike.

Employees across the country are demanding that one job be enough to live in the cities where they work, raise a family and pay the bills. They also believe they should be able to retire with dignity.

“Months of excruciatingly slow negotiations with the Marriott-operated Westin Book Cadillac have gotten us only insulting and disrespectful proposals,”  Local 24 President Nia Winston says in a statement. “Now is the time to move forward towards economic fairness, real job security, and respect on the job.”

“We’re bringing back Detroit. Being able to go downtown, to shop, eat, and walk around,” says Yolanda Murray, a lead steward, in the union media release. “We’ve got all these companies coming back downtown. It’s a beautiful thing we’re doing. Don’t shortchange the people making it happen.”

Marriott officials tell the Detroit News that through many years of working with Unite Here, they've always taken the negotiation process seriously and reached agreements.

"We have no reason to believe that this negotiation process will be any different," Marriott said in a statement on Wednesday. "We respect the right of our associates to voice their opinions on issues that are important to them. Should the union and our employees choose to strike, our hotels will continue to operate and work to minimize any disruption and to provide the excellent service that our guest have come to expect."

Detroit is the seventh major U.S. location to take a strike vote against Marriott in the last ten days. Contracts between Local 24 and the Marriott-operated Westin Book Cadillac expired June 30, 2018.

"A strike at the Westin Book Cadillac can now begin at any time and without advance notice," the release says.

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