The Guardian: Marick Masters on Marriott hotel workers strike

In eight cities across the US, almost 8,000 Marriott hotel employees are walking picket lines demanding better wages, workplace safety, and a seat at the table for technology changes in the latest strike organized among America’s low-wage workers. Although the workers represent a small fraction of total worldwide Marriott employees, the union representing striking workers, Unite Here, is calling this “the largest multi-city hotel strike in North American history.” The willingness to strike is somewhat rare recently, according to Marick Masters, director of Labor@Wayne, at Wayne State University, dropping from a height of hundreds of strikes a year in the 1960s, to five to 20 a year over the last few decades. But it is coming back now, as evidenced by a wave of teachers’ strikes earlier this year that provided a shot in the arm for U.S. labor activists. “I think we’re going to see more movement for unions,” Masters aid, both in attempts for additional organization and increased agitation in those already unionized. “It is symptomatic of the fact that for years workers in general have suffered stagnant or declining wages and shrinking benefits, and the tipping point has been reached where they want to assert their ability to extract what they consider to be a fair price for their services.”

Full story in The Guardian