Workers on strike at Westin Book Cadillac in Downtown Detroit

130 unionized workers on strike


DETROIT – On Monday, 130 unionized workers at the Westin Book Cadillac in Detroit are off the job and on the picket line.

They're demanding increased wages and changes to their insurance. Hotel housekeepers have been vocal about wanting more pay.

For two days running, the chanting has started at 6 a.m. Hotel patrons said they woke up to the sound of drums.

Staff members want everyone to know they believe they deserve better.

Unite Here Local 24 President Nia Winston said their contract ran out at the end of June and talks since then have accomplished little.

"Although a strike is the last thing we want to do, we just felt like the employer was not listening to our concerns and were not taking us seriously," Winston said. "Unfortunately, we had to turn to this."

The Book Cadillac is a Marriott property purchased after a long road from revitalization during the downturn to paid off debt and new ownership. Employees feel like they've been left out of the success story.

UPDATED: Detroit hotel workers reach settlement with Westin Book Cadillac  

"So now that the city is on the comeback and the hotel is the most profitable in the whole city, we want a living wage," Winston said.

That includes the same pay other Marriott employees make in Detroit: about $2 an hour more than the protesters.

"We are disappointed that Unite Here has chosen to resort to a strike at this time," the hotel said in a statement. "During the strike, our hotel is open. We continue to bargain in good faith for a fair contract. While we respect our associates' rights to participate in this work stoppage, we also will welcome any associate who chooses to continue to work."

A bargaining session is scheduled for Thursday.

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