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Marriott employees strike in Medical District over union contact

Chicago Marriott at Medical District/UIC, 625 S. Ashland Ave. | Google Streetview

Marriott employees are holding a one-day strike Wednesday in the Illinois Medical District over their employer’s refusal to bargain for a contract or even recognize their vote for union representation.

Housekeepers and food and beverage department workers formed a picket line before dawn near Ashland Avenue and Harrison Street outside the Chicago Marriott at Medical District/UIC, according to a statement from their labor union Unite Here Local 1.

Workers at the hotel voted in May in favor of union representation but hotel management contested the validity of the election with the National Labor Relations Board, the union said. The labor relations board overruled the management’s objections and certified the election in August.

“We’re demanding that the Marriott stop crying about the election and start negotiating, because the company has refused to bargain.” Ana Sanchez, housekeeper at the medical district Marriott, said in the union’s statement. “The majority of us are in favor of the union and want to bargain together for just wages and better working conditions.”

The hotel workers will be returning to work on Thursday, the union said.

“My coworkers and I have been overwhelmed and overworked just to finish our daily tasks,” Abel Urbano, a server in the food and beverage department at the hotel, said in the statement. “With a union, our voices can be heard. We now have the union and demand that the hotel stop refusing to negotiate.”

Marriott did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Disclosure notice: Some labor organizations have ownership stakes in Sun-Times Media, including the Chicago Federation of Labor, which is affiliated with Unite Here Local 1.