A group of pilots and flight attendants unions representing more than 180,000 airline workers have called for a boycott of a popular Marriott hotel in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood because hotel bosses have made bringing in less expensive contractors from Florida and Texas for a hotel-wide renovation.
Unions say layover airline crews account for almost 30% year-round occupancy at the massive 1,097-room Marriott Copley Place hotel. For security reasons, details of the airlines using the hotel are not disclosed.
The hotel offers a large conference room, but occupancy has been impacted by the continued effects of the pandemic, so the airline crew business provides stable and predictable income to the hotel.
Airline unions, however, say they are working to move crew to other hotels in the area unless management starts hiring local union labor for the project. of renovation.
“We are mobilizing at all levels of our unions and engaging with airline management to move our operations to other hotels until you resolve this dispute to the satisfaction of our allied unions,” informed the hotel in an open letter from the unions.
“We won’t use your hotel while you undermine Boston workers. We’re not crossing the picket line.”
The letter was signed by seven airline unions, including the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA-CWA), which alone represents 50,000 US-based crew members, as well as the flight attendants union. from American Air, the Allied Pilot Association and the Southwest Pilots Union.
On Friday, Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants, joined a rally and picket outside the hotel to demand that the hotel stop paying visiting contractors below the wages of the region.
Nelson was a fierce critic of labor practices in the hospitality industry and often supported striking hotel staff fighting for better working conditions.
The Marriott Copley Place is also used as a layover crew for international flight attendants, but they too may not escape protest action. In May 2021, Lufthansa ignored a picket line at a stopover hotel in Vancouver, but the flight attendants ended up being targeted by striking staff.
In one incident, a bus driver who was taking Lufthansa flight attendants to the hotel allegedly crushed the foot of a protester who was blocking their en. race to the hotel. In another incident, protesters targeted Luthansa’s crew at the airport.
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