Hilton Seattle Exposed
Worker Safety Stories
Over the past 2 years, people who appear to be homeless or on drugs have come into the hotel via the parking garage. They try to get into the bathrooms, breakrooms, conference rooms, and offices. I have had to tell many of these people to leave and it makes me nervous and anxious for my safety. I do not feel safe at work. Having security guards on site at the hotel would help make me feel safe.
Sandra, Restaurant Server
One day in 2022, I was working at the Hilton Seattle and I had my car stolen from the parking garage. It was a longer shift that day and I was looking forward to going home after a long day’s work. I took the elevator to get to my car. I thought I could not find my car and might have forgotten the level I left it at. I realized soon after that my car was in fact stolen out of the parking garage at my job.
I commute to work by bus because I cannot afford to pay $15 a day to park at work. I take the bus in the mid-afternoon and in the evening after I finish my shift. I have had several scary interactions leaving work at night to take the bus. One day after a shift in January of 2024, a person yelled directly at me. I could not make out what they were saying, but I felt unsafe. I minded my own business, but they continued to yell at me. It gave me a lot of anxiety having to deal with that near my workplace. Another instance where I felt unsafe was a time in the winter of 2023 when a man started throwing glass bottles onto the street. I worried that he would start to throw bottles at me and others on the street and it worried me that he was breaking glass while cars were passing by.
Wosene, Room Attendant
On April 5, 2023, I was working on the 17th floor of the Hilton Seattle. A little before noon, a man entered the floor through the staircase. He broke several things in the hallway including a mirror, a few lights and the ice machine. He chased after me and I ran away from him. He entered the housekeeping storage closet, and I called my manager on my cellphone. He did not pick up, so I called one of my coworkers to ask for help. As I was trying to get help, I could see smoke coming from inside the closet where the man was. I found out later that he had lit toilet paper inside the closet. I was so scared, and I left the floor to go to the breakroom. The police arrived and detained the man, but I still felt very shocked by the experience. I kept working after this happened and did not get support from my managers, not even a check in. I felt very unsafe and scared for over a week because I worried he would come back.
Maria, Room Attendant
I was assigned to keep an eye out for suspicious activity in and around the hotel from March of 2022 until April of 2023. My bosses asked me to go up and down all levels of parking and to be on the lookout for suspicious behavior in the ground level lobby and near the garage elevator. In that time, it was common for me to see people break car windows and steal items out of cars. I rarely had a radio with me that the company provided to notify others that I needed support or backup. One day in the summer of 2022, a woman entered the ground level lobby and proceeded to take all her personal belongings out of the bags she was carrying onto a bench inside while guests walked in and out of the area. She was one of many people who we had to escort out of the building. Another day during that summer, I found a man trying to get into my own car on the 8th level of parking. I walked out of the elevator and saw him trying to get into my car. He ran away through the staircase. I called a bellman to come help me with the situation. When my coworker came to the 8th floor, we opened the door to the staircase and found the man there. My coworker proceeded to escort him out. On other occasions, it scared me to see people breaking into others’ cars with crowbars and in one case a machete that they could hurt me and others with. In many instances where I had to ask people to leave the property, I would get support from the bellmen.
Chuck, Bell Captain
I’ve been part of the bellmen team at the hotel for many years and I can tell you that in my most recent years of service, safety has been a big issue for me and my coworkers. I have had several run ins with strangers on the street this year and last year while working at the hotel. About 3 months ago, a woman swung at me with a stick in front of the hotel. About a month and a half ago, another stranger spit in my face, called me names and threatened to fight me. On a few occasions like these, I have asked for back-up from the hotel, but our main support is a manager on duty. Sometimes they can come within a few minutes, but they also have their primary jobs and may not be able to assist until later. My biggest worry is whether a stranger could have a knife on them and that they use it against me while I’m on the job while I wait for security support. I cannot afford to get hurt on the job; I am the sole provider for my household. My income from working at the hotel is how we survive. I also worry about my coworkers’ safety on the job since there have been several instances where strangers have entered the hotel and gotten past many of us. I’ve been called in response to help remove unauthorized people who have gotten into the kitchen in the restaurant, behind the bar and even on the floors where guests stay. We deserve to work in an environment that is safe and that means we get the support we need.
Jessica, Room Attendant
I am constantly scared for my safety and my coworkers’ safety at our hotel. I had two situations where strangers not staying at the hotel got onto the floor where I was working. The first incident was around July of 2022. While working on the 18th floor, a woman walked out of the elevator and walked up and down the hallways not going into any of the rooms on the floor. She approached me as I was walking out of a room I had just cleaned and asked me for cups. I was very scared because I suspected she was not a guest. I gave her cups so that she would walk away from me. I immediately called my manager on the phone who at the time was acting as our head of security. I locked myself in one of the rooms waiting for him to come. He removed the person from my floor. I was terrified that any stranger could walk onto the elevator and walk through any hallway where me and my coworkers are usually alone.
Another incident happened at the end of the year in 2022. I was on the 18th floor again servicing a room when I heard someone thumping the walls very loudly in the hallway. At that time, the company had appointed one of my coworkers in housekeeping to act as security. I called her and let her know what was going on. She told me someone had gotten into the locker rooms last night and had stolen some of our belongings and made a mess. The man pounding on the walls ran towards the staircase. Shortly after that, the fire alarms at the hotel went off and all of us had to go downstairs to street level to wait for the fire department to arrive. As the firefighters inspected the building, I saw the man from the 18th floor hallway exiting the elevator. I yelled to say he was the person I saw in the hotel and the police chased and caught him. I spoke with the police with one of my supervisors in the hotel afterward.