Largest Rally in Recent Tacoma History

On August 10th, Local 8 members and over 200 labor activists and community leaders held one of the largest hotel worker rallies in recent Tacoma history. The exciting rally took place at Tollefson Plaza, located next to the Tacoma Courtyard Marriott. The labor community made it clear that the non-union Marriott, as well as other Tacoma hotels, need to stop paying low wages, providing unaffordable health benefits, and using the economy as an excuse to pressure workers to do more for less.

A group of community delegates entered the hotel lobby and presented a “Downtown Tacoma Hotel Workers Bill of Rights” to management, an opportunity to commit to providing their employees fair wages, affordable health insurance, and a voice on the job (click here to sign the online petition). Not surprisingly, the Hollander family, who owns the Marriott, refused to make this commitment to their workers and to the Tacoma community. On the other hand, the nearby Hotel Murano made the commitment to the “Downtown Tacoma Hotel Workers’ Bill of Rights.”

Despite receiving public subsidies to build their hotel, the Hollanders have been unwilling to provide their employees with living wage jobs pursuant to the bill of rights. After giving the Hollanders several opportunities to do the right thing, we have launched a “Do Not Patronize” campaign at the Tacoma Courtyard Marriott. We are urging Tacoma City Council to support the workers as well as their community. After all, hotel workers who earn good wages and benefits have more money to spend locally!

Check out the January 2011 Local 8 Newsletter.