Background information provided by HERE Local 2 in San
San Francisco Marriott Labor Dispute
struggle. In 1980
when Marriott was chosen to develop the San Francisco convention center
hotel, the notoriously anti-union company promised the City of San Francisco
and Local 2 of the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union that it
would not fight unionization.
years later, the company is still refusing to sign a fair union contract
with its employees.
October 1996, shortly after the end of Marriott's protracted legal battle to
renege on that commitment, Local 2 was certified to represent 925 Marriott
workers. Contract negotiations
began shortly thereafter and quickly stalled.
are fighting for basic rights that are the norm for union hotels in San
Francisco, including regular days off, overtime pay for six and seven days
worked in a row, retirement benefits for the majority instead of just a few,
and seniority rights.
Marriott's anti-union campaign.
Instead of signing a contract, the hotel has conducted a campaign to
get rid of the union, which has included illegally
denying wage and benefit improvements to only workers represented by Local
2; bargaining in bad faith; discriminating against employees because of
union activity; and holding mandatory meetings urging workers to decertify
government indicts Marriott.
an 18-month investigation, Marriott was indicted by the federal government
for severely violating labor law.
addition to facing trial, Marriott entered into an agreement to settle 72
charges alleging that it violated its workers' right to
makes $1.5 million payment to workers.
September 1998, as the federal government neared the end of their
investigation of the hotel's numerous violations of labor law, Marriott
attempted to defuse the pending charges and curry favor with its employees
by making the $1.5 million in back payments and additional benefit
improvements the company had initially denied them.
Workers are clear that their work with the union and the impending
charges at the National Labor Relations Board were responsible for
Marriott's sudden change of heart.
workers are strong.
workers have participated in an escalating campaign to get a fair contract,
which has included three-times weekly picketing at the hotel; wearing large
union buttons on the job; a "teach-in" in the employee cafeteria
to educate workers about Marriott's illegal campaign; a "sit-in"
in the hotel lobby, during which SF Board Supervisor Tom Ammiano and 51
other protesters were arrested; and a 1,250-person demonstration in front of
the hotel on November 17, 1998, during which AFL-CIO President John Sweeney
and 149 other protesters were arrested for blocking traffic.
Negotiations with Marriott resumed in July 1999.