UNITE HERE Local 26 Battery Wharf Hotel workers have now been on strike for 50 days, becoming the longest strike in the union’s history.
Workers at Battery Wharf Hotel along the North End’s waterfront went on strike on September 5, 2019 as negotiations broke down with the hotel, now owned by Canadian operator Westmont Hospitality. UNITE HERE Local 26 is the hospitality workers’ union representing more than 12,000 members working in the hotel, food service, and airport industries in Boston and Rhode Island.
According to UNITE HERE Local 26, Westmont Hospitality Group is seeking to eliminate existing contract language that protects immigrant workers and combats discrimination against African Americans. Negotiations between the union and Battery Wharf Hotel had been going on for over a year prior to the strike.
The fifty-day and counting strike is now the longest in UNITE HERE Local 26’s history. Last fall, 1,500 Marriott hotel workers went on strike for 46 days. In 2016, Harvard University dining hall workers walked out for 22 days. Local 26’s sister local in Las Vegas, the Culinary Workers Local 226, holds the record for the longest successful strike in United States history – the famous Frontier Hotel Strike began in September 1991 and lasted six years, four months, and ten days.