Workers protest outside San Francisco hotels demanding more pay

More than 2,000 Marriott hotel workers in the Bay Area were out on the sidewalk Thursday morning, demanding higher pay and better working conditions.

Similar strikes were being held across the country.

The employees met early in the morning, chanting and holding signs outside the Westin St. Francis and the Marriott Marquis hotels in San Francisco. The members of Union Unite Here Local are demanding better working wages and conditions. The union has been in negotiations with Marriott for months. Union leaders say that workers also want safe workloads and job security. Workers on strike include housekeepers, bellmen, servers and bartenders, among others.

Union spokeswoman Rachel Gunpert said the workers deserve more dignity.

This is said to be the biggest strike of hotel workers in San Francisco in decades.The striking workers say if hotel guests cross the picket lines they can expect poor service because so many people that help the hotel run are on the picket lines.

The hotel is still taking reservations.

In a statement, Marriott told KTVU: "We are disappointed that Unite Here has chosen to resort to a strike at this time. During the strike our hotels are open, and we stand ready to provide excellent service to our guests. While we respect our associates’ rights to participate in this work stoppage, we also will welcome any associate who chooses to continue to work.”