Striking Marriot workers reach tentative agreement with hotel, union says


Globe Staff and Globe Correspondent

The 46-day strike at seven Marriott hotels in Boston is expected to end after workers cast their votes Saturday afternoon on a tentative agreement reached Friday night between their union and the hotel chain.

The union, Unite Here Local 26, declined to release details of the agreement until the remaining 5,000 Marriott workers who are on strike in San Francisco and two locations in Hawaii settle their contracts. In all, 8,000 Marriott workers walked off the job this fall, and agreements have been reached in four other cities – Detroit, San Jose, Oakland, and San Diego.

"This has been a very hard-fought battle, and it has really been driven by the determination, the courage, the intelligence, and the fortitude of the members here in Boston," said Brian Lang, president of Local 26. "Marriott did listen in the end, and they did step up and agree to a contract that is going to set a new standard for hotel workers in this city. "

In a statement to the Globe early Saturday afternoon, Marriott officials confirmed that a tentative deal had been reached.

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"We look forward to welcoming our associates back to work," a spokesman said in an e-mail.

The tentative agreement addresses all the issues the union raised over wages, job security, hours, scheduling, pregnancy accommodations, and sexual harassment protections, and technology, Lang said.

The work stoppage was the city's first major hotel strike in modern history, involving 1,500 employees, from housekeepers to bartenders to doormen, at seven hotels, including the Ritz-Carlton Boston, Sheraton Boston, and Westin Copley Place. The Boston workers, who went on strike Oct. 3, were the first Marriott employees nationwide to walk out.

Local 26 will use the Marriott contract as a basis for its negotiations with the rest of the unionized hotels in the Boston area – there are 32 in all – a few of whom have already said they would agree to the same terms.

As for the workers, who will cast their votes this afternoon: "They were completely underestimated," Lang said. "They're on top of the world."

Katie Johnston can be reached at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @kkjohnston. John Hilliard can be reached at [email protected]

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