For immediate release
October 17, 2018
rgumpert [at] unitehere [dot] org
Boston, MA – Yesterday evening, social justice rapper Common undermined more than a decade of his own activism work, stunning onlookers as he was caught on camera laughing while crossing a major worker strike line outside the Marriott-operated Boston Ritz-Carlton.
Common’s blatant undermining of 1,500 striking UNITE HERE workers in Boston—part of 7,700 UNITE HERE hotel workers striking Marriott-operated hotels now in eight cities across the country as they fight for one job to be enough to live on—is particularly stunning because he has profited from a career positioning himself as an advocate and leader for social justice.
“We are stunned and appalled by Common’s decision to sell out nearly 8,000 striking UNITE HERE hotel workers last night, because the stance he previously portrayed himself as having on social justice issues was so in line with what the hotel workers he hurt are fighting for now,” said D. Taylor, international president of UNITE HERE. “In April, Common was shoulder-to-shoulder with these same UNITE HERE hotel workers at a union action in Memphis focusing on the intersectionality between civil rights and worker rights. We don’t know what has changed since. This week in Boston, Common put a night at the Ritz over the struggle of primarily black and brown workers fighting to survive while their hotels reap record profits. If Common is sincerely interested in social justice, he must immediately terminate the remainder of his stay at a hotel under strike, and apologize to the workers demonstrating against the hotel he is in now who his irresponsible decisions have injured.”
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. Learn more at www.OneJob.org