During our first week as summer organizers with UNITE HERE Local 8 in Seattle, we were thrown into action head on! On Thursday, July 7th we rallied with over 150 workers outside of the Westin hotel in downtown Seattle. We even made it on the local news! In this video, Anh, another summer organizer, can be seen chanting into the camera about 13 seconds in:
New contract negotiations are coming up soon at the Westin and the contract demands are for better wages, job security, safe workloads, and basic respect on the job! Westin workers as well as workers from the Space Needle and the Edgewater hotel rallied outside in solidarity to demand a fair and just contract. It was awesome to witness workers and community members mobilizing for a cause that affects all of us. The commitment of the workers was especially inspiring as many people dedicated their day off or their 20 minute lunch break to rallying. Our members work hard, and they fight just as hard to improve their working conditions!
A big conference was going on at the hotel that weekend that brought people involved in an international service organization to the city of Seattle; members from many countries around the world were present. Having the rally during that time was the perfect opportunity to expose the plight of workers not only to the local community but also to the international community. Westin as a multi-national chain employs workers around the world to create luxury environments for hotel guests, and Westin needs to treat workers with the same dignity and respect as it treats customers.
The workers know what they are fighting for and won’t back down! We. Got. This.
-Kendra, Summer Organizer, Seattle