Philly hotel workers begin strike for better working conditions, wages
Unite Here Local 274 began their strike on Sunday, November 21, 2021.
Hotel workers in Philly, members of Unite Here Local 274, began a strike this past Sunday, Nov 21, 2021.
Unite Here Local 274 is requesting better wages and working conditions, and is one of the largest unions in Philadelphia.
The union alone represents roughly 4,000 hospitality staff.
These workers are employed at food service locations, hotels, and airports across Philly. This group may include stadium, university, and cafeteria workers too.
Outside of Unite Here Local 274, the union represents school cafeteria employees and casino workers in separate groups.
The strike began with a walkout involving nearly 60 employees of the Wyndham Philadelphia Historic District Hotel.
The walkout involved lobby staff, housekeepers, laundry attendants, and cooks who began striking around 4:30 a.m. on Sunday.
Unite Here mentioned the majority of Wyndham Hotel employees as Black, Brown, and / or immigrants. Picket signs they carried read “Black Lives Matter” and “Black Work Matters!”
Unite Here members are seeking a new contract agreement as the previous agreement expired in September of 2019, making for a significantly outdated, pre-COVID agreement.
Various workers are citing the amount of time given to clean rooms, current wages, and physical tolls as major reasons behind the strike.
Other demands include alleviation from higher workloads brought on by a lower number of employees post-reopening.
Wyndham employees reported their staff being reduced to the point of being nearly halved.
In negotiations, Wyndham employees turned down a proposal offering pay increases over a period of several years.
Wyndham Hotel released a statement on the ongoing strike, noting disapproval of Unite Here Local 274’s timing:
“While we respect the right of employees to strike, we’re disappointed that Unite Here has chosen this path. The hotel is open and operating, and we have taken measures to help ensure guests are not impacted,” Wyndham Hotel and Resorts publicly expressed.
Unite Here Local 274 is expected to continue their strike until an agreement is reached.