BOSTON (CBS) — Hotel workers furloughed during the coronavirus pandemic picketed in front of the Marriott Copley on Tuesday. Members of Unite Here Local 26 say a deadline for hotels to release their plan to re-hire them has passed and they’re still in the dark about their future.
“We know the economy is coming back. We know the industry is going to come back and what we’re seeing is the industry is cynically taking advantage of the pandemic to fire workers, to permanently change their labor structure,” said union president Carlos Aramayo.READ MORE: Water Conservation Urged In Massachusetts Amid Dry Spell
The rally comes on the heels of the Nine Zero Hotel firing 52 employees.
According to Aramayo, 90% of the employees represented by the union in the hotel industry were laid off and out of work in the early stages of the pandemic. Now that number is closer to 80%.READ MORE: Massachusetts Reports 1,831 New COVID Cases, 8 Additional Deaths
But Aramayo said there are several reasons for the industry to feel optimistic about the future. From the vaccine rollout to the weather improving, he believes business will come back.
What about the jobs, though? More than 30 Boston hotels have made commitments to recall their workers, Aramayo said and legislation is being introduced toward that end.MORE NEWS: Dorchester Grandmother Killed By Stray Bullet While Sitting On Porch Identified As Delois Brown
“Today we’re here to fight for our rights, we deserve better,” said one worker.