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Labor strife heats up in Boston

Boston hotels are bracing for a strike that could come at any time in light of aggressive union activity. In mid-March, Unite Here Local 26 voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike and boycott at Starwood's Boston properties: the Sheraton Boston, Boston Park Plaza, Westin Waterfront and Westin Copley Plaza. On March 28, more than 1,000 hotel workers and their families picketed the Sheraton Boston.

Hotel worker contracts at 20 Boston hotels expired as of March 31.

By voting to authorize a strike, it doesn't mean that a strike is imminent, explains Antony Dugdale, a Unite Here spokesman interviewed by our sister e-newsletter, MeetingsNet.com, only that the union has the approval of its members to strike if terms aren't met. The primary issues, from the union side, are wages, health benefits and hiring practices, Dugdale said. No negotiations have taken place for about a month. "We're extremely concerned that there's been no progress at the negotiating table," he said.

Photo by Unite Here

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