The Boston City Council recently passed a resolution supporting the Battery Wharf Hotel workers’ strike.
UNITE HERE Local 26 workers filled the council chambers calling on Boston officials and residents to avoid the Battery Wharf Hotel until this labor dispute is resolved with a contract that they believe respects working people, women, immigrants and African-Americans.
“They want to be treated fairly,” councilor Ed Flynn said. “They want decent working conditions. They are not getting paid the salaries they deserve. They are not respected by this hotel.” Flynn pointed out that many of these workers are minorities.
“We want to make sure this strike is also about communities of color being treated fairly and with respect,” he said. “They make our city better. They make our country better.”
Westmont Hospitality Group, the Canadian-based manager and part-owner of the Battery Wharf Hotel, is seeking to eliminate existing contract language that protects immigrant workers and combats discrimination against African Americans. The Battery Wharf Hotel is staffed by a predominantly immigrant and minority workforce.
Councilor Lydia Edwards called the workers on strike “brave.”
“I see our future in your faces,” she said. “You make us a stronger, better city with all the hard work you do.” She believes it is the council’s duty to stand by UNITE HERE Local 26. “If we don’t stand by you, we are walking away from our city,” she said.
Councilor Kim Janey stated that the strike is to help some Boston residents achieve the American Dream. “These are good jobs we are fighting for. These are jobs that help people break out of poverty,” she said.
Edwards is hopeful for a positive ending. “We are going to win,” she said to a cheering crowd.