Philadelphia Hotel Workers Go On Strike To Demand Fair Wages

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A group of more than a dozen workers gathered outside of the Wyndham Philadelphia Historic District Monday (November 15) to protest their employer's low wages and heavy workload demands.

The unionized group banned together for the strike amid contract negotiations between their union and the owner of the hotel, RLJ Lodging Trust.

According to The Philly Voice, the workers are represented by the UNITE HERE Local 274 which represents workers in the hotel, airport, and other food and hospitality laborers across the city and region. The union authorized a strike late last month and has gained the support of state lawmakers.

"The hardest hit workers in our city are the hospitality workers, who are majority Black, brown, and immigrant. They deserve a fair contract. They deserve family-sustaining wages. Black work matters," State Sen. Nikil Saval tweeted Monday (November 15). "Solidarity with the workers at the Wyndham and everywhere."

According to a 2019 report tilted, "Black Work Matters," the city of Philadelphia has added a hospitality job for every manufacturing job its lost. But, the 2019 data shows that nearly 75% of the food and hospitality workers in Philly bring home less than $25,000 a year.

During the onset of the pandemic, the restaurant and hospitality industries were severely hit as lockdown orders and social distancing mandates took effect.

Analysis of unemployment data show that Black people and other people of color are overrepresented in these industries and the "essential" workforce who showed up to work day in and day out throughout the pandemic.

News of this strike also comes as John Deere workers receive a third tentative deal in their nearly month-long strike.

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