Progressive Marriott Union Contract Could Have Ripple Effects

A series of settlements hammered out over the past few weeks between Marriott and its striking workers in Boston and seven other cities are ushering in groundbreaking benefits that could set a precedent not just for the service industry but for workers nationwide.

The Boston agreement, reached after workers spent more than six weeks on the picket lines, marching and chanting in the wind and rain and snow, includes a roughly 20 percent increase in wages over 4½ years, a 37 percent increase in pension contributions, and six weeks of paid maternity leave, plus two weeks for spouses.

But it’s the wide-ranging job protections that really stand out: a five-year job guarantee for immigrants if their protected status is revoked; 165-day advance notification of new technology and mandatory training for workers whose jobs will be affected by it; an alert system for housekeepers in case of an assault, as well as a registry of guests accused of sexual misconduct and possible banishment from the hotel.

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