“One Job Should Be Enough” – that was the rallying cry for the Hotel and Restaurant Employees Union who have been on strike for three weeks at Marriott Hotels in Oakland, San Francisco, San Jose, and around the nation. On Saturday, October 20, the HERE workers were surrounded by hundreds and thousands of supporters in a day of solidarity, and the Teamsters were there.
In the morning, about 1,000 people, including a sizeable Teamster contingent, marched in San Francisco. And later that day, the Teamster truck, which was parked in front of the hotel, blared it’s airhorn, rocking downtown Oakland. A group of about 30 unionists—Teamsters, teachers, nurses, transport workers, engineers, the Labor Council and community members, joined Marriott strikers and sat down in the middle of Broadway. While they wanted and fully expected to be arrested to draw attention to the workers’ plight, after two hours, it was clear that the police were not in an arresting mood.
“Young people painted beautiful murals on Broadway, and when they were done, we decided it was time to vacate the street,” said Joint Council 7 Political Director Doug Bloch who was part of the sit-down strike. “The hotel was freaked out and they wanted us cleared out of the street, but the police union felt it was a righteous action and refused to comply. As we left, we and thw crowd chanted, “We’ll be back!”
Contract negotiations between HERE and the Marriott are continuing.
Local 856 attorney and Vice-Mayor of the City of Alameda Melia Vella and Joint Council 7 Political Director Doug Bloch are part of the sit-down strike action in front of the Oakland Marriott.