On May 29, 2018, UNITE HERE members joined other Marriott workers from around the world in Geneva, Switzerland, headquarters of the United Nations and the International Labour Organization, to call on Marriott to sign a global sexual harassment accord and protect women at work.
UNITE HERE members marched through the streets of Geneva with Marriott workers represented by unions in Africa, Asia, Europe, and South America to present Marriott executives with their proposal for a global agreement to stop sexual harassment in the hotel industry. Led by their global union federation, the International Union of Food, Farm, and Hotel Workers (IUF), the Marriott workers demanded that the company take action through prevention measures, quicker response times to reports of sexual harassment, and protection from retaliation for workers who report harassment from guests, managers, or coworkers. UNITE HERE members called on Marriott to use its unique role as the world’s largest hotel chain to agree to higher standards for keeping hospitality workers safe.
“Two years ago, I was cleaning a bathroom at the Marriott Marquis when a man came in and sexually assaulted me. Soon after another housekeeper was attacked. Management refused to take action to protect us and told me not to talk about it,” said Consuelo Escorcia, a member of UNITE HERE Local 2 and a lobby attendant at the Marriott Marquis in San Francisco. “I traveled to Geneva to join Marriott workers from all over the world in telling Marriott that we refuse to be silent.”
This is the first ever international #MeToo action of this scale for working class women, and it comes on the heels of Marriott’s annual shareholder meeting earlier in May, where UNITE HERE Marriott women from all over the country shared their harassment stories, called on the company to set higher standards for pay equity and sexual harassment and assault protection for workers, and questioned the CEO on why Marriott has fought against the anti-harassment protections that workers have won in Seattle. With 1.2 million hotel rooms, Marriott is the largest hotel chain in the world, and has a unique responsibility within the hospitality industry to set standards across the globe.