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Deal in San Francisco Ends Nationwide Marriott Strikes

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Under old work rules, if an employee accused a guest of sexual harassment he or she could only be assured of avoiding contact with that person for a day. Now, employees can have no further contact with the guest, Ms. Gumpert said. And, if there is a “credible report of inappropriate sexual behavior or unwanted sexual advances,” the hotel will evict the guest, she said.

Housekeepers will also receive a reduced workload that increases over the life of the contract, especially if they have a number of rooms that don’t receive daily cleaning as part of Marriott’s “Make A Green Choice“ program. The initiative, billed as an environmental alternative, offers loyalty points to guests who forgo daily room cleaning. Housekeepers had complained that it disrupted the schedule for deep cleaning and that they were at risk of injury while trying to get through the heavy work in all their allotted rooms, no matter how many had previously been pulled from the daily cleaning pool, Ms. Gumpert said.

While the financial terms varied by city, the sexual harassment agreement is included in all the contracts. There is also a nationwide plan to bring Marriott officials and union representatives together to discuss automation in the hotels, Ms. Gumpert said.

Ms. Carumba, like many housekeepers, had been working a second job to make ends meet, cleaning a laundromat for three hours each day.

“I will be able to take care of my kids now because I don’t need to go work another job,“ she said.

The strike in San Francisco was particularly confrontational, and more than 100 union employees have been arrested since it began, on Oct. 4. Mr. Singh was arrested twice for civil disobedience.

“I think this campaign and the contract that we achieved certainly sets the standard in San Francisco, and it demonstrates that militant action in today’s economy, even with large employers, can deal real successes,” Mr. Singh said. “We certainly hope it paves the way for settlements in our industry and in other industries.”


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