For immediate release
May 3, 2018
Workers want the company to disclose more information and drop out of a lawsuit seeking to overturn a Seattle law protecting hotel housekeepers
Washington, DC – Eight Marriott hotel workers from four different cities will be flying to the annual Marriott shareholder meeting in Washington, DC on May 4th to question top executives and directors on the pervasive problem of sexual harassment facing hotel housekeepers.
UNITE HERE hotel workers have made international news headlines in the past six months regarding their work combating sexual harassment in the hospitality industry, including multiple members being named TIME Magazine Person of the Year Silence Breakers, and featured on an ABC 20/20 Diane Sawyer special – progress that workers say has come in spite of industry resistance.
“I’m coming to the shareholders meeting because I want to know if Marriott really understands how bad the problem of sexual harassment is in our industry,” said Suzanne, a cocktail server from Boston.
“We like our jobs and work hard. But we shouldn’t have to work in fear or be pressured into silence. Marriott is the largest hotel company in the world – they should be leading on this issue. A good first step would be for the company to release information about the number of complaints, investigations, and lawsuit settlements at their hotels.”
The hotel and hospitality industry have long ranked among those with the highest rates of workplace sexual harassment, and the advancements in the past six years of protections for workers have come primarily because UNITE HERE members have negotiated protections into their contracts or pushed for new laws requiring hotels to put new safety measures in place, including providing housekeepers with panic buttons.
Marriott is a leading member of the American Hotel and Lodging Association, which has brought a lawsuit seeking to overturn a landmark new law in Seattle that provides hotel workers with protections against sexual harassment. Workers intend to ask Marriott executives and board members if they will drop out of that lawsuit and extend the Seattle protections to their other hotels around the world.
UNITE HERE represents 270,000 members working in the hotel, gaming, food service, manufacturing, textile, distribution, laundry, transportation, and airport industries in the U.S. and Canada