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Striking Marriott workers hold downtown SF rally

After nearly two months on the picket line, striking Marriott Hotel workers are rallying Saturday morning in downtown San Francisco, organizers said.

The workers’ march and rally at 11 a.m., on Market Street between Third and Fourth streets, comes just ahead of the Unite Here Local 2’s return to the bargaining table, union leaders said.

The strike by the San Francisco hotel employees, including housekeepers, dishwashers, bellmen and cooks, is in its ninth week. At issue in contract negotiations are wages, affordable health care and safe workloads, organizers say.

“My job at Marriott isn’t enough to support my family, so after a full day of cleaning rooms, I have to work the night shift at a Laundromat,” said Larrilou Carumba, a housekeeper at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis. “I need fair wages and affordable health care so I can be with my kids instead of working two jobs.”

After months of negotiations, nearly 2,500 hotel workers went on strike Oct. 4 at seven downtown San Francisco hotels. Other strikes in San Jose and Oakland have been settled.

Marriott representatives wouldn’t comment Saturday on ongoing talks with workers, saying they don’t want to negotiate in the press.

“We have successfully reached agreements in Hawaii, Oakland, San Jose, San Diego, Chicago, Detroit and Boston,” said Marriott spokesman Jeff Flaherty. “We continue to believe that the best place to resolve these issues is at the bargaining table.”

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