Marriott hotel workers protest contract negotiations

- About 500 hotel workers protested outside of the Westin St. Francis hotel in San Francisco's Union Square on Labor Day. The hotel is one of seven hotels owned and operated by Marriott in San Francisco.

The contract for about 8,000 Marriott hospitality workers including housekeepers, bartenders, cooks and bell hops expired two weeks ago. 

According to the union, the negotiations are stalled on a number of issues, especially wages. The union claims that the hotel chain's profits have risen by 200% over the past 10 years and that the workers wages have risen only 7% during the same time period.

A Marriott spokesperson declined to answer any specific questions amd instead provided a general statement that said  they respect their associates contributions. The spokesperson said Marriott "respects our associates' rights to voice their opinions" and is "negotiating in good faith and in a timely fashion to obtain the best outcomes for our associates and guests."

Powell Street was closed between Pine and Geary Streets during the protest and some protesters were arrested for sitting in the middle of the street in what they called a planned act of civil disobedience. 

Workers cou;d call for a strike later this month. A union representative said that the negotiating committee authorized a strike vote for September 13. 

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