Under grim and damp skies, more than one hundred hotel workers and labor allies rallied outside the 15th and Pennsylvania Bank of America branch in Washington, DC on August 18 to demand that the bank protect their jobs. "We’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore!" said AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Arlene Holt Baker outside the Treasury Department, which helped bail out BOA last year. UNITE HERE represents hotel workers whose jobs are in jeopardy as a result of the potential default of $1 billion in loans made by Bank of America to Columbia Sussex, which owns 14 hotel properties nation-wide – including the Hilton Crystal City and the Baltimore Sheraton City Center. "We helped bail them out, now it’s time for them to bail us out to keep our jobs," said DeLouise Eggleston, who works at the Baltimore Sheraton. "Columbia Sussex expects us to pay back their loan through big cuts in our pay and benefits – it’s not fair and we won’t allow it." Added Nelly Villalobos – a laundry worker at the Hilton Crystal City for over 17 years – "Since Columbia Sussex took over our hotel, they have made our lives very difficult. We are not going to let workers pay for their mistakes. We’re going to keep fighting and moving forward together to protect our jobs!"
– Report by Adam Wright; photos by Chris Garlock, Metro Washington Council