BOSTON (CBS) – Banging drums and chants of “shut it down” could be heard ringing through the streets of downtown Boston on both Wednesday and Thursday, but on Friday – those chants were louder than ever.
Union workers at Boston’s seven Marriott-owned hotels are picketing and demanding better wages and benefits.
The crowd grew significantly on Friday, after some Ritz-Carlton guests were seen breaking up the picket line to enter the hotel. Those guests were none other than the New York Yankees.
As if Boston folks needed another reason to despise the Red Sox rival, a video posted to Twitter of the Yanks entering the Ritz despite picket lines did just that.
“The Red Sox are the working people’s team, and the Yankees evidently are the corporate team,” said Brian Lang, President of Boston’s Local 26.
The New York Yankees have not responded to media requests for comment, but the players’ union that represents the players on the field wrote to WBZ-TV saying the union workers “deserve to be heard and deserve our support.”
After seeing the video of the Yankees, more union employees left work and hit the streets with signs. Marriott Hotels issued a statement Wednesday saying, “We are disappointed that Unite Here has chosen to resort to a strike at this time,” and promising that hotels will stay open despite limited housekeeping and food services.
The president of the New York Labor Union also released a statement condemning the Yankees’ choice of hotel, writing, “As a lifelong Yankee fan and a proud New Yorker, I am disgusted the management of a team representing the strongest union town in America would choose a hotel where workers are on strike.”
The Yankees play the Red Sox on Friday and Saturday night in the ALDS series at Fenway.